Apr 11, 2023 - Sports

WNBA draft spotlights amazing life journeys

Aliyah Boston

The Indiana Fever selected Aliyah Boston with the No. 1 overall pick. Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Every athlete has a story, and draft night is the perfect opportunity to tell it. From the can't-miss prospect to the little-known late bloomer, the path to the pros is one of the great journeys in sports.

Driving the news: Monday night's WNBA draft was a dream come true for many. There, seated in the same room, were athletes from all different backgrounds who traveled winding roads to get there.

To spotlight a few:

  • No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston (South Carolina) left home in the U.S. Virgin Islands at age 12 and moved in with her aunt in Massachusetts. She and her sister took her aunt's bedroom, and her aunt bunked up with her daughter. A college scholarship was the plan; Aliyah dreamed bigger.
  • No. 3 pick Maddy Siegrist (Villanova) was left off the middle school A-team. That night, her dad remembers her turning on the driveway lights and "putting up shots until it was time for bed," per NYT. In the end, rejection may have been the best thing that ever happened.
  • No. 4 pick Stephanie Soares (Iowa State) grew up in Brazil, spent most of her college career at an NAIA school, tore her ACL twice in a 27-month period, and just went fourth overall in the draft. What a journey.
  • No. 5 pick Lou Lopez Sénéchal (UConn) was born in Mexico and began playing basketball in France and Ireland. After reaching out to 208 schools, she ended up at Fairfield. Then UConn. Now she's in the WNBA.
  • No. 9 pick Jordan Horston (Tennessee) grew up playing one-on-one against her father, a high school coach. Nowadays? "He don't wanna play me no more," says Jordan. "I don't want to hurt his back."
  • No. 11 pick Abby Meyers (Maryland) led her high school to a Maryland state championship alongside her two sisters. Seven years later, basketball has blessed the Meyers family with another night to remember.
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