Left Menu
Development News Edition

WNBA draft will be virtual event this season due to pandemic

PTI | Newyork | Updated: 26-03-2020 22:28 IST | Created: 26-03-2020 22:28 IST
WNBA draft will be virtual event this season due to pandemic

The WNBA draft will be a virtual event this year. The league announced Thursday that its draft will still be held April 17 as originally scheduled, but without players, fans or media in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The WNBA draft is a time to celebrate the exceptional athletes whose hard work and dreams are realized with their selections in the draft," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. "Safeguarding the health and well-being of our prospects, players, employees, and everyone connected to our game as well as the general public is paramount." Logistics of the draft are still being worked out with ESPN although Engelbert confirmed she would announce the picks that night on the league's broadcast partner's network. She just isn't sure where she'll be doing it from; it could be her house, the league offices or another location. The New York Liberty have the No. 1 pick and are expected to draft Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, who won the AP women's college basketball player of the year earlier this week.

The commissioner, who is beginning her first full season this year after starting the job midway through last year, said that the league will honor Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna Bryant and Payton Chester at the draft. The teenagers were among the nine people who died in the helicopter accident on Jan. 26, including Kobe Bryant. Engelbert said the league also plans to honor the former NBA star at the draft and during the upcoming season. The virtual draft is the only certainty Engelbert has about the upcoming season that is scheduled to begin on May 15.

She said the league has discussed a variety of scenarios that are contingent on the pandemic. Two WNBA cities are major hot spots for the virus: New York and Seattle. The Las Vegas casino where the Aces play is shut down as is the Connecticut Sun's home arena. "There are a myriad of logistics involved from the start of training camp to the tip of season," Engelbert said. "Always the main guiding principle is the health of the players, fans and employees. We are not taking any scenario of the season off the table, including the tip of the season on May 15." While it seems unlikely at this time the league will start on May 15 because of the virus, Engelbert did say that the WNBA could begin its season before the NBA or other sports leagues resume.

"A league of our size and scale is smaller than other big leagues," she said. "We might be able to tip this season off before some other leagues since we only have 12 teams and 144 players." The postponement of the 2020 Olympics also gives the WNBA some flexibility with its schedule, if the season doesn't start on time. The league was going to go on month-long hiatus starting July 10 to allow players to participate in the Tokyo Games.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Public health care post-COVID 19 to go for revamping, not rebooting

Until now, the economies used to classify healthcare sector under social expenditure. However, the devastation caused by COVID 19 pandemic has upgraded public healthcare on topmost priority and core economic activity for controlling future ...

Coronavirus lockdowns to speed up long-pending revamping of supply chains

With millions of production lines impacted, business disruptions to some extent are unavoidable and the lessons learned from this turbulence will leave an everlasting impact on both global and local levels of supply chains....

COVID 19 to catalyze the redefinition of urban planning and sustainability

Until now the urban planning was focused on mitigation to natural disastrous, climate change, pollution, chronic illness and lifestyle diseases. However, the global pandemic of novel coronavirus is going to change the whole narrative of urb...

Ebola to COVID 19: Has Geopolitics prevailed over Professionalism in WHO

World Health Organization WHO is perceived as one of the most professional bodies of the United Nations. However, the role of WHO has come under question in handling outbreak two deadly diseases Ebola Viral Disease EVD and novel Coronaviru...

Videos

Latest News

British fighter Yarde's father dies of coronavirus

British boxer Anthony Yarde urged the public to stay at home after revealing his father has died of the coronavirus. Yarde, who fought Sergey Kovalev for the Russians cruiserweight world title last year, said his father had been fit with no...

India, Bangladesh put off joint inspection of Ganga for river water sharing

In view of the lockdown, India and Bangladesh have extended stay of their teams that measure crucial hydrological data of Ganga in each others countries, and also postponed the next months high-level joint inspection under the Joint River C...

Belly dancer keeps Tunisians entertained through coronavirus lockdown

Tunisians stuck inside through a coronavirus lockdown have in large numbers been watching a spangly-costumed actress belly dancing in her living room with the message Stay at home and Ill dance for you.Clad in a figure-hugging dress, with a...

Sports Highlights

The following are the topexpected stories at 1735 hours EXPECTED STORIES A story on IPL. STORIES ON THE WIRE SPO-VIRUS-CRI-IND-AUSTRALIA COVID-19 If Australian travel ban stays for 6 months, Indias tour could be affected By Kus...

Give Feedback