More than WNBA free agency rumors and rumblings are happening in the world of women’s basketball. Catch up on the latest announcements and developments:
Get to know the 2024 McD’s All Americans
On Monday, the 2024 McDonald’s All Americans were revealed on ESPN’s NBA Today. The 24 players who will participate in the game in Houston, TX on April 2 are:
- Imari Berry: A 5-foot-10 guard from Clarksville, TN who has signed with Clemson.
- Mikayla Blakes: A 6-foot-0 guard who plays for Rutgers Prep in New Jersey and has committed to Vanderbilt.
- Jaloni Cambridge: A 5-foot-6 point guard who is from Nashville, TN, plays for Florida’s Montverde Academy and has committed to Ohio State.
- Justice Carlton: A 6-foot-2 forward from Katy, TX who has signed with Texas.
- Morgan Cheli: A 6-foot-2 wing who plays for Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, CA and has signed with UConn.
- Kendall Dudley: A 6-foot-2 wing from Centreville, VA who plays for DC’s Sidwell Friends and has signed with UCLA.
- Joyce Edwards: A 6-foot-2 forward from Camden, SC who has signed with South Carolina.
3500 & Counting!!! ✨
Congratulations to Joyce Edwards for scoring her 3500th career point on January 16th. Joyce now has the 2nd Most Career Points in South Carolina High School Girls Basketball History! @JoyceEdwards24 pic.twitter.com/5LCvlYvF8y
— Camden Girls BB (@CamdenGBB) January 22, 2024
- Kayleigh Heckel: A 5-foot-9 guard who plays for Long Island Lutheran in New York and has signed with USC.
- Avery Howell: A 5-foot-11 guard from Boise, ID who has signed with USC.
- Zamareya Jones: A 5-foot-7 guard from Bethel, NC who has signed with NC State.
- Kate Koval: A 6-foot-4 big who plays for Long Island Lutheran and has signed with Notre Dame.
- Jordan Lee: A 6-foot-0 guard who plays for St. Mary’s in Stockton, CA and has signed with Texas.
- Madisen McDaniel: A 5-foot-9 guard who plays for Maryland’s Bishop McNamara and has signed with South Carolina.
- Alivia McGill: A 5-foot-9 point guard who plays for Hopkins in Minnesota and has signed with Florida.
- Olivia Olson: A 6-foot-1 guard who plays for Minnesota’s Benilde Saint Margaret and has signed with Michigan.
- Me’Arah O’Neal: A 6-foot-3 big who plays for Episcopal in Houston, TX and has signed with Florida.
- Mackenly Randolph: A 6-foot-0 forward who plays for Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, CA and has yet to declare her college intentions.
- Arianna Roberson: A 6-foot-4 forward who plays for Clark in San Antonio, TX and has signed with Duke.
- Kennedy Smith: A 6-foot-1 wing from Etiwanda, CA who has signed with USC.
- Zania Socka-Nguemen: A 6-foot-3 forward who plays for Sidwell Friends in DC and has signed with UCLA.
2024 6’4 Zania Socka-Nguemen of Sidwell did whatever she wanted to do yesterday. She dominated the paint which propelled her team to a monster win! pic.twitter.com/OfmOt13VqN
— RareFootage (@RareFootageNews) December 2, 2022
- Sarah Strong: A 6-foot-2 forward who plays for Grace Christian Sanford in North Carolina and has yet to declare her college intentions.
- Syla Swords: A 6-foot-0 guard from Sunbury, Ontario, Canada who plays for Long Island Lutheran and has signed with Michigan.
- Berry Wallace: A 6-foot-1 wing from Pickerington, OH who has signed with Illinois.
It’s our turn to celebrate one of our own.
We get to benefit from Berry as not just an athlete but as a person too!
Believe us when we say, there’s not a more deserving person.
— PC Tigers Girls Basketball (@PCTigersGirlsBB) January 24, 2024
- Allie Ziebell: A 5-foot-10 guard from Neenah, WI who has signed with UConn.
Another move for the Mercury
The Phoenix Mercury continue to fill out their leadership ranks. After recently adding Megan Vogel and Michael Joiner as assistant coaches, the organization has hired Fleur McIntyre as an assistant general manager. McIntyre has served as an assistant coach for the NBL’s Sydney Kings, winning two titles. She also was a guest assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs at the 2023 NBA Summer League.
Joining General Manager Nick U’Ren’s staff alongside Assistant General Manager Monica Wright Rogers is Fleur McIntyre.
Welcome to The Valley, Fleur! pic.twitter.com/7KMXHJaK2V
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) January 23, 2024
It’s been a long time since I’ve been back involved in women’s basketball, but I’ve always followed the WNBA and certainly know the league and the players. After conversations with the Mercury I asked the Kings ownership [for] permission to interview with the club, which they allowed. I also felt really emotional at the possibility of leaving the Kings and this organisation.
Essence’s back with AU
Thirteen-year WNBA veteran Essence Carson, who participated in the first two season of Athletes Unlimited, is back for season three. Carson joins the more than 20 players who have committed to the 2024 season, which begins Feb. 29 in Dallas.
Moore speaks out on state of Texas’ anti-DEI legislation
On Jan. 1, Senate Bill 17, which “prohibits public institutions of higher education from establishing or maintaining DEI offices, officers, employees, or contractors that perform the duties of a DEI office,” went into effect in the state of Texas.
Texas junior forward Aaliyah Moore used her social media to first inform her fellow students of the implications of the law for the campus’ Multicultural Engagement Center and then encourage mobilization against the law. On an Instagram story, Moore, who said of herself, “i’m not usually the person to post my activism but now is a time to combine my doing with showing,” wrote, “effective mobilization takes making yourself and people in power uncomfortable,” citing an active presence at meetings, physical protesting and registering to vote as strategies to push back against the legislation. She further urged, “please stop fighting behind your screen, get uncomfortable, and actually FIGHT.”
Texas’ Aaliyah Moore speaks out after the University of Texas informed her of the “closure of the Multicultural Engagement Center due to anti-DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) legislation, SB17.” This is disgustingly regressive and I’m heartbroken for these students/athletes pic.twitter.com/MPu926s4AO
— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) January 24, 2024
It’s disheartening that such circumstances must arise for us to see the best in the young women who play college basketball. Nevertheless, in the swill of fear-mongering, discriminatory state laws, Moore shines, a beacon that preserves hope in a brighter, better future.