WNBA to hold virtual draft on April 17 due to coronavirus pandemic
As of now, the WNBA does not have any plans to cancel or even postpone any of its season because of the coronavirus outbreak. But the WNBA will hold its draft on April 17 without any players, guests or media present. WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the picks on ESPN2 (8 pm ET), while the top prospects participate remotely.
The WNBA also plans to honor the late Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and Gianna’s former AAU basketball teammates (Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester), whom were four of the nine people that died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.
“The WNBA draft is a time to celebrate the exceptional athletes whose hard work and dreams are realized with their selections in the draft,” Engelbert said in a statement. “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. With that in mind, we will work diligently with our broadcast partner, ESPN, to create a memorable but virtual event that appropriately honors these accomplished athletes.”
The WNBA added that it has not altered its schedule for the beginning of training camp (April 26) and the season opener (May 15). But amid ongoing developments with COVID-19, the league said “it will provide updates regarding any changes to key dates.”
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