WNBA Draft Dreams Realised

April 16, 2024 | WNBL news

Two of the WNBL’s brightest young stars have had their WNBA dreams come true on Tuesday morning.

Southside Flyers Nyadiew Puoch,  Adelaide Lightnings Isobel Borlase, and  former Melbourne Boomer Jaz Shelley were all drafted in the 2024 WNBA Draft in Brooklyn.

Puoch was drafted to the Atlanta Dream with the 12th pick fresh of a WNBL title with the Flyers and two years of training and playing with former WNBA stars Lauren Jackson and Leilani Mitchell.

Puoch spoke to Holly Rowe on ESPN shortly after, recognising that it didn’t just mean so much to her, but her family as well.

“Still got plenty of development to go, Lauren said it’s going to be a test, but I can’t wait.”

“It’s huge for my family, we love basketball, my mum has done so much for me and my siblings, and she’s been so strong for us, and I can’t thank her enough.”

Joining Puoch at the Atlanta Dream is Isobel Borlase with Pick 20.

The 19-year-old from the Lightning is coming off a WNBL first-team selection where she averaged 15.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while also making her Australian Opals debut in Brazil earlier this year.

Borlase says it’s a mixture of relief and excitement.

“I’m super excited and grateful for the opportunity.”

“Being challenged by the best in the world and the opportunity to play against them, I can’t wait.”

Shelley heads to the Phoenix Mercury with the 29th Pick in the draft. Shelley has just come off a fantastic college career starting at the University of Oregon before heading to Nebraska where she has played for three seasons. Shelley also won WNBL Rookie of the Year honours in 2018 with the Melbourne Boomers.

Shelley says she can’t wait to get started.

“I am so excited for the opportunity and couldn’t be happier about being picked up by Phoenix.”

“I feel like it’s a great fit for me, they have such a talented team.”

To hear her name called was something Shelley will never forget.

“Having my name called has always been my dream and to share it with my second family here in Nebraska is something I will remember forever.”

All three were a part of the Centre of Excellence and the WNBL in what is a great recognition of the pathways in Australia.

The WNBA season kicks off on May 14.