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Aliyah Boston headlines 2023 draft picks on WNBA opening day

2023 WNBA no. 1 draft pick Aliyah Boston playing for the indiana fever
Despite going No. 1 overall in the 2023 WNBA Draft, Aliyah Boston had to fight hard to make it onto Indiana's roster. (Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

The first day of the 2023 WNBA season has arrived. Yet of the 36 college stars drafted in April, just 15 appear on opening day rosters.

From No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston to No. 29 pick Kadi Sissoko, here are the draftees who will be suiting up for their teams.

Atlanta Dream

Haley Jones, No. 6 pick

The Stanford product has long been praised for her versatility, as she can play nearly every position on the court. That made Jones an attractive draft pick for the Dream as they build a roster around last year’s No. 1 pick, Rhyne Howard. Jones also brings a high basketball IQ, another important quality for a team looking to establish itself.

Laeticia Amihere, No. 8 pick

Former South Carolina sixth woman Amihere may take a bit longer to develop than some rookies, but her physical skills and high ceiling are worth the wait. Versatility was clearly a priority for the Dream in this draft, as Amihere is another player that does a bit of everything on the court. At 6-4, her length is a major strength that can help the Dream on both ends of the floor.

Indiana Fever

Aliyah Boston, No. 1 pick

Seeing Boston on an opening day roster is no surprise. The No. 1 overall pick is a player to build around, and someone we will likely see in the WNBA for years to come. Boston was pro ready a season ago when South Carolina won the NCAA title, and she will continue to develop as a WNBA player. The 6-5 post has the physical skills – strength and height – as well as impeccable footwork that makes her a tough guard inside.

Grace Berger, No. 7 pick

As the Fever continue to build their identity, the former Hoosier is another player who can contribute right away. Berger is an efficient scorer who excels in the midrange, an offensive style that compliments the rest of the Fever roster. When it comes to guards, Berger is also on the stronger side, so she will likely adjust quickly to the WNBA level.

Victaria Saxton, No. 25 pick

The last Gamecock to be drafted, Saxton will need some time to develop, but again, the Fever are a young team, playing the long game. At 6-2, Saxton is an undersized forward particularly on the defensive end, where she made her mark in college, but she impressed Fever coach Christie Sides in the preseason. Sides cited Saxton’s hustle and attention to detail as two qualities that stood out.

Minnesota Lynx

Diamond Miller, No. 2 pick

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said during the preseason that Miller might be the most athletic player she’s ever coached. That, plus her length and versatility, made Miller an obvious choice for the No. 2 pick. Miller can score in the half court, on the fast break, and from both inside and outside. She’s an all-around player that will likely be on a WNBA roster for years to come.

Dorka Juhász, No. 16 pick

The former UConn player can make an immediate impact for the Lynx as they continue to rebuild. After the retirement of Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota needs help defending in the paint, and at 6-5, Juhasz offers the kind of length they need. She served as a rim protector at UConn, and recorded 1.4 blocks per game as a senior. Juhasz uses polished footwork to score around defenders, and can impact the Lynx offense as well.

Phoenix Mercury

Kadi Sissoko, No. 29 pick

One of two third round draftees to make opening day rosters, Sissoko may end up being a steal for the Mercury. The 6-2 Sissoko is listed as a forward, but she has guard skills that will transfer well to the WNBA. She can run the floor and create shots off the bounce. Being on the court with players like Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner will leave openings that Sissoko can capitalize on.

Los Angeles Sparks

Zia Cooke, No. 10 pick

The former South Carolina guard is in a great position for success with the Sparks. She can learn from two established guards in Jasmine Thomas and Jordin Canada while polishing her game for the WNBA level. At 5-9, Cooke will have to work to score, but body control and angles are her strong suit, something that will help the guard create around bigger defenders.

Seattle Storm

Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, No. 21 pick

The former South Florida player is one of three bigs on the Storm roster. Standing at 6-3, Fankam Mendjiadeu gives the Storm a needed post presence on both ends of the floor. Fankam Mendjiadeu finishes well in the paint and is deft at finding seems without the ball. She averaged a double-double during her senior season with 16.5 points and 12.3 rebounds.

Jordan Horston, No. 9 pick

After losing Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird, the Storm are in a rebuild. Horston likely will play big minutes for Seattle this season, and the 6-2 guard is ready for the challenge. A strong finisher who can elevate around the rim, Horston does a little bit of everything, and she is capable of setting up teammates and crashing the boards for rebounds.

Connecticut Sun

Leigha Brown, No. 15 pick

The Michigan product was drafted by the Dream before being traded to the Sun just days before final rosters were announced. Brown brings toughness, defensive ability and a versatile offensive skill set to the Sun. The 6-1 guard can lead a fast break and create for herself or others. Brown averaged 17.5 points, 5.8 assists and 5.1 rebounds during her senior season.

Dallas Wings

Maddy Siegrist, No. 3 pick

The Wings needed to get more scoring in the 2023 draft, and they certainly secured that in Siegrist, who led the NCAA with 29.2 points per game as a senior. The 6-2 Siegrist is listed as a forward but plays more like a guard. The Villanova star can use her strength and ability to shoot from any angle to score in the WNBA.

Lou Lopez Sénéchal, No. 5 pick

Former UConn standout Lopez Sénéchal will start the season on the injured list, as she is set to undergo knee surgery that will cause her to miss six to eight weeks. When healthy, Lopez Sénéchal provides outside shooting that the Wings will need now that Marina Mabrey is playing for the Sky. She shot 44% from beyond the arc in her final collegiate season.

Ashley Joens, No. 19 pick

Joens played five years at Iowa State and was the focal point of the Cyclone offense every season. Joens is a strong guard who can score over defenders in the paint or shoot from outside. Another player who can bring needed scoring to the Wings, Joes averaged 21.6 points per game as a fifth-year senior.

The Late Sub Podcast: Can the USWNT Medal?

The USWNT takes a silly face photo during their team Olympic photo shoot
The USWNT will begin their 2024 Olympic medal hunt on Thursday. (Brad Smith/ISI/Getty Images).

This week, JWS podcast host Claire Watkins discusses WNBA All-Star Weekend, which felt both like a celebration of the league's explosive growth over the past year and a way to set Team USA up for a particularly competitive Summer Olympics.

Later, Watkins previews the field for the upcoming Olympic soccer tournament, nominating her personal "Group of Death" and discussing whether or not the new-era USWNT could still reach medal contention despite their current rebuild under new head coach Emma Hayes.

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Team USA, Germany Play Pre-Olympic Exhibition Game in London

Team USA's 5x5 Basketball Team stands for the National Anthem before Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game
Team USA looks to rebound from Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game loss in an exhibition against Germany today. (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

USA Basketball's 5x5 team will tip off in an exhibition against Germany in London this afternoon, getting in one last tune-up before the Summer Olympics begin.

The US is hunting an eighth-straight gold medal this year, with group stage play starting on July 29th.

Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to face Germany in pre-Olympic exhibition.
Team USA's Kahleah Copper, Alyssa Thomas, Kelsey Plum, and Sabrina Ionescu gear up to take on Germany in London. (Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

US to use All-Star loss as fuel

Coming off the weekend's All-Star Game loss, the Olympians are ready to repeat history: They earned their Tokyo gold medal immediately after losing the first Team USA vs. Team WNBA All-Star Game back in 2021.

Breanna Stewart, who led Team USA with a 31-point, 10-rebound double-double on Saturday, said that the defeat "is going to help us tremendously. We don’t get that many game opportunities, [and now] we can go back and watch the film and focus on how we can continue to be better."

Today’s tilt against Germany will see the US work to lock in their defense, particularly in the paint. They'll also lean into their positional versatility before heading to Paris.

WNBA pro Satou Sabally leads Team Germany in today's pre-Olympic exhibition game against Team USA.
WNBA pro Satou Sabally helped Germany to their first-ever Olympic berth. (Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Olympic debutants Germany enter first US clash

The exhibition marks the first-ever US-Germany linkup. The German team will make their Olympic debut in Paris after decades of failing to qualify for major international competitions. Their sixth-place 2023 EuroBasket finish sent them into February’s FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where they punched their ticket to the 2024 Games.

Leading Germany's run was two-time WNBA All-Star Satou Sabally, who put up career-high averages in points, rebounds, assists, and steals with Dallas last season. Her 20-point, 11-rebound double-double was the difference-maker in Germany's must-win 73-71 Olympic qualifying victory over Brazil.

Other German players to watch include 2022 NY Liberty draft-pick — and Sabally's sister — Nyara Sabally, along with Liberty sharpshooter Leonie Fiebich.

Where to watch the Team USA vs. Germany game

Today’s exhibition tips off at 3 PM ET with live coverage on FS1.

1v1 With Kelley O’Hara: USWNT Star Jaedyn Shaw Is Expecting “Dubs All Around”

retired uswnt star kelley o'hara interviewing san diego wave and uswnt forward jaedyn shaw
'1v1' is back with Jaedyn Shaw joining Kelley O'Hara for a conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics. (Just Women's Sports)

In the latest episode of Just Women's Sports' 1v1 With Kelley O'Hara, San Diego Wave and USWNT star Jaedyn Shaw joins two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Kelley O'Hara for a one-on-one conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics.

We hear from the 19-year-old Wave FC phenom about her first impressions of new USWNT coach Emma Hayes, her experience with international competition at this point in her young career, and how she's preparing to take on the 2024 Summer Games.

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The 91st: Complete USWNT & Olympic Soccer Preview Featuring Jess McDonald

Logo for JWS USWNT Olympic show The 91st
The latest season of JWS' awarding-winning Olympics show 'The 91st' premieres today. (Just Women's Sports)

We're back! Hosts Jordan Angeli, Duda Pavao, and retired USWNT forward Jess McDonald deliver a full preview of this year's Olympic soccer tournament in Paris.

Watch for full analysis of USWNT manager Emma Hayes's coaching style, this team's shifting identity in this new USWNT era, and a projected starting XI for the team's group stage opener against Zambia. The 91st hosts also break down all three Olympic groups — including top players and teams to track throughout the tournament — plus give their predictions for the medal rounds and individual awards.

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