I would say the 2021 WNBA draft night was a success. A night of twists and turns but nevertheless an entertaining night. Popular names were called in the second round instead of the first round. Shocking moments happened during the draft. The No. 1 overall pick was a given which was Charli Collier from Texas and the Dallas Wings gained a great post player. Aari McDonald was the No. 3 pick from Arizona. And the Atlanta Dream selected her in the first round. Well for Coach Wade’s squad they went with a guard and a post player.
Chicago selected Shyla Heal from Australia with the No.8 pick and picked Natasha Mack from Oklahoma State with the No.16 pick. Chicago didn’t stop there; they just acquired Lexie Brown, who was previously with the Minnesota Lynx. And she played with the Lynx for two years.
I had the distinct honor of interviewing Coach Wade: Here is what he had to say about the 2021 WNBA draft night and a few surprising and fun answers:
Penny: What was your process in drafting Shyla Heal and Natasha Mack? Besides their skillset.
Coach Wade: We evaluated talent and potential fit. We went thru a process where we compared them to other prospects at their respective positions and we eventually landed with those two.
Penny: Many fans had thought you were going to draft a guard to backup Courtney Vandersloot, however, you drafted a guard plus a forward, what was the thought process behind that?
Coach Wade: We feel that Shyla is the guard to back up Sloot. Our second-round pick went to the best player available at that point. It allowed us to add the needed depth.
Penny: According to Her Hoop Stats you have one open protected veteran slot, are you considering utilizing that one spot with Sydney Colson or any other veteran? List of vets that are available Glory Johnson, Colson, Reshanda Gray, TRP, and Lexie Brown. Any of those players that you would consider?
Coach Wade: We will keep an open mind but we just signed Lexi on Monday and we are really going to focus on how and if she can help our group.
Penny: I noticed superstar players joined the draft war room this year, that was a neat idea btw. Does that help the draft process or is that just to welcome in the draftee and make them feel better. Does that help the exposure in Chicago?
Coach Wade: We appreciate our players. We wanted them to get a feel and wanted them to know what goes into it. Our coaches love the war room so we felt it was something that they wouldn’t forget knowing the other side.
Penny: How fun was the draft night this year? Being surrounded by human beings this year versus being all virtual last season.
Coach Wade: It was way better than last year’s draft. Hopefully, it still reaps the same benefits we got last season.
Penny: One fun question, is your wife involved in the drafting process? Her being a coach herself, does she help you recruit in sort of way, not sure if she is allowed to do that but does she help you decide who will be good for the team. Oh look this player might be good for Chicago, that sort of recruiting.
Coach Wade: Well actually she is a General Manager. She’s always up for giving me her advice. And as I say “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” So I always at least listen.
Penny: What are you most looking forward to now that teams are playing in arenas?
Coach Wade: Just to get back to our home routine. I look forward to seeing Chicago Sky jerseys on fans as well. We missed the fans so much!
Penny: Another fun question, who is your son’s favorite soccer team or player? We see all the fun you and your family spent on soccer practices and games through your social media pages especially Instagram.
Coach Wade: He’s absolutely a die-hard FC Barcelona fan. When we play each other he’s the FC Barcelona and I’m the Chicago Red Stars.
Penny: What did you think of the new jerseys?
Coach Wade: I love them because they tell our story!
Penny: Last one, what lessons did you learn from last season that you are going to implement this season?
Coach Wade: It doesn’t matter how you start, it only matters how you finish!
Make sure to watch Chicago’s opener on Saturday May 15th at Washington at 12:00 PM.
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