Eight HBCU female basketball players who deserve a chance in the WNBA
With all the attention the NFL has given to HBCU football prospects with the HBCU Combine and the HBCU Legacy Bowl, there has been some slight neglect for potential HBCU basketball prospects looking for a career on the bigger stage.
There is only one former HBCU currently playing in the National Basketball Association (Robert Covington, Tennessee State) and there have only been two HBCU players selected in the NBA Draft since 2000.
As bad as it has been for male basketball players in the HBCU, it hasn’t been nearly as bad as the lack of opportunities for women seeking careers in the WNBA.
In the WNBA’s 25-year history, only five HBCU players have been drafted into the league, and only two have walked on league court.
There are a ton of female basketball players in the HBCU community, either still in college or recently graduated and more than qualified to play in the WNBA.
Here, we’ll break down eight players who stand out the most and deserve an opportunity to play at the top level of women’s basketball.tball.
Angel Golden, Bethune-Cookman
During Angel Golden’s two seasons as the main starting guard with Bethune-Cookman, she was arguably the best player the MEAC had to offer.
In 2017-18, she was named MEAC Player of the Year averaging 15.7 points per game (4th in MEAC) connecting 84 three-point shots (2nd in MEAC) leading her team to the league’s best overall record. conference 24/7. .
The following season, she took her game up a notch averaging 19.9 ppg (2nd in the MEAC), making a MEAC-leading 96 three-pointers, once again named to the All-Team -MEAC.
This time around, Golden led Bethune-Cookman to her 2nd MEAC title in school history by winning the Most Outstanding Female Player award for her play in the tournament.
She scored 70 points in three MEAC tournament games, including two 26-point performances in the first two games.
In the NCAA Tournament, Golden put on a stellar performance against eventual National Championship runner-up Notre Dame, scoring a game-high 25 points while connecting on six three-pointers.
Angel Golden would be a great addition to a WNBA team looking for backcourt goals.
Daisa Harris, Livingstone
Daisa Harris’ college career began at Harford Community College where she was a big star averaging 19.9 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 3.9 steals in 62 games.
She then moved to Livingstone in 2018 which had an immediate impact in her first season with the team.
In 30 games, she ranked second in the CIAA in points (21.2 ppg), second in assists (4.8) and led in steals (2.7) while adding 6, 1 rebounds.
His signature performance came against Shaw finishing with a season-high 41 points with eight assists, six steals and four rebounds.
At the 2019 CIAA Tournament, she helped the Blue Bears earn their first victory in a first-round game in three years by defeating Virginia State 67-63. Harris finished the game with a full line of 25 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, and one block.
The 2020 season saw Harris’ numbers drop slightly although she again ranked second in the CIAA in points (17.7), second in assists (4.0) and third in steals (2 .6) while posting 5.6 rebounds.
Harris opened the season with a bang with 26 points, seven assists, six rebounds and six steals.
Chanette Hicks, Norfolk State
Transfer from Virginia Tech, Chanette Hicks only played one season with Norfolk State but it was historic to say the least.
She led the MEAC in points (20.0), assists (5.0) and steals (4.9), becoming the first player in conference history to win the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
Just his third game with the Spartans, Hicks recorded a triple-double against Virginia University-Lynchburg with 20 points, 14 assists and 11 steals.
His best game against a Division I opponent came against Howard, finishing with 30 points, nine steals, seven assists, five rebounds and two blocks.
While at Virginia Tech, Hicks was equally dominant finishing in the top 20 in interceptions as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore.
WNBA teams looking for a guard who plays at both ends of the court would not be disappointed if they signed Chanette Hicks.
Kyaja Williams, Bowie State
Kyaja Williams was one of the most versatile players in HBCU basketball during her time at Bowie State. His long wingspan allowed him to be effective at both ends of the floor and would serve as a tool for success in the WNBA.
In 118 career college games, Williams averaged 10.3 points per game, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 steals. During her senior season, she finished fourth in the CIAA in points (13.8), second in rebounds (10.1), and led in steals (4.1), making her the only player to finish in the top five in each category this season.
In the last game of her career, in the 2020 CIAA Championship Game, she went all out finishing with 14 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five steals.
In a game against Shaw in January 2019, she recorded her only career triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 steals.
In the four years she was with Bowie State, the team won 20 or more games, including a combined 47-11 record as the team’s primary starting hitter.
Ay’Anna Bey, Benedict
Senior striker Benedict Ay’Anna Bey has been a force for the Tigers since stepping onto the pitch for the team.
This season, Bey averaged 15.7 points per game, 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. In her last game against Edward Waters, she had 25 points, 18 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
However, her best overall game may have been against Central State when she had 14 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, four steals and five blocks.
In 112 career games, Bey is averaging 18.1 points per game and 9.6 rebounds. His best season came in 2018-19 with 23.7 points and 12.5 rebounds.
His signature performance came against Clark Atlanta in the second-to-last game of the season, scoring a career-high 44 points on super-effective 21-of-23 shooting from the field, adding 17 rebounds and two blocks.
Ameshya Williams, Jackson State
Reigning SWAC Defensive Player of the Year Ameshya Williams is not only running for a second straight award, but she’s also arguing for SWAC’s Player of the Year.
So far, she leads the SWAC in points (16.7), rebounds (10.3), blocks (3.0) and field goal percentage (53%).
Over his 60 career games, the former five-star transfer from Mississippi State is averaging 14.6 points per game on 52 percent shooting from the field, 10.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.
She was a top 10 scorer in her three college seasons and was a top two rebounder and top shot blocker each year.
One of his signature performances this season came against Arkansas on Dec. 7, finishing the game with 18 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocks.
The best game of her career, however, was by far against Alabama State in January 2021 when she posted 25 points, 23 rebounds and seven blocks.
At 6’4, she has the size to take on some of the best frontcourt players in the WNBA today.
Whether or not she would be able to rise to the challenge remains to be seen, but she absolutely deserves a chance to prove herself in the big leagues.
Shareka McNeill, Virginia Union/North Carolina A&T
During Shareka McNeill’s first three years with the Virginia Union Panthers, it could be argued that she was not only among the best HBCU basketball players in the country, but also among the best basketball players in the entire nation. division II.
After a strong freshman season in which McNeill averaged 12.5 points per game, she nearly doubled her sophomore point average in the 2018-19 season to 24.7 points.
She helped lead the Panthers to the CIAA Championship kicking off the tournament by scoring a game-high 59 points against Livingstone.
While her 2019-20 season was shrunk to just eight games, she enjoyed it averaging 32.4 points per game scoring over 40 points on three occasions, including a 55-point game against Livingstone.
Now with North Carolina A&T, she shrugged off some early-season struggles by producing back-to-back 20-point games against East Carolina and Cincinnati respectively.
McNeill’s scoring ability will make her a prime candidate for a spot on the WNBA roster.
Shakyla Hill, Grambling State
If you know anything about Shakyla Hill’s college career or even her post-college career, you’d be outraged that she didn’t receive a chance in the WNBA.
In 130 career games, Hill filled the stat sheet averaging 15.9 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.8 steals.
She is best known for being the only player in Division I women’s basketball history to ever record two career quadruple doubles. In fact, she’s one of only five women in Division I basketball to have done so, the last time before hers in 1993.
If it wasn’t bad enough that she was so dominant in college and had no luck in the WNBA, look how awesome she’s been since turning pro.
In his first season in Serbia in the ZLS, Hill averaged 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 5.7 steals.
She became the first player in league history to record a quadruple double totaling 15 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and 11 steals in a game in January 2020.
Hill is too big of an all-around player not to have received a shot in the WNBA.