The WNBA welcomed 36 new players to the league on Friday night as the 2020 draft was held virtually over two hours live on ESPN.
Sabrina Ionescu was this year's top prize and it took only a few moments after the New York Liberty were on the clock for the team to snatch her up with the No. 1 overall pick. The guard was a near-automatic triple-double in her senior season with Oregon, averaging 18 points, 7.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists. Now she'll be the face of a New York team that underwent a rapid rebuild with six picks on Friday.
The draft officially began with the WNBA announcing it was posthumously drafting Payton Chester, Gianna Bryant and Alyssa Altobelli, who along with Kobe Bryant and five others died in a helicopter crash in late January.
"It's an honor to have Alyssa, Gianna and Payton join the WNBA family," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. "We thank their families for the privilege of drafting their girls and being a part of this special night."
The somber beginning to the night quickly gave way to an electric event as Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Simone Biles all made surprise cameos to welcome players to the league.
Here's how the draft board looked after all 36 picks.
2020 WNBA Draft Results
1. New York Liberty: Sabrina Ionescu, G, Oregon
2. Dallas Wings: Satou Sabally, F, Oregon
3. Indiana Fever: Lauren Cox, F, Baylor
4. Atlanta Dream: Chennedy Carter, G, Texas A&M
5. Dallas Wings (from Phoenix): Bella Alarie, G/F, Princeton
6. Minnesota Lynx: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, F, South Carolina
7. Dallas Wings (from Seattle via Connecticut, Phoenix): Tyasha Harris, G, South Carolina
8. Chicago Sky: Ruthy Hebard, F, Oregon
9. New York Liberty (from Dallas via Las Vegas): Megan Walker, F, Connecticut
10. Phoenix Mercury (from Los Angeles via Connecticut): Jocelyn Willoughby, G/F, Virginia
11. Seattle Storm (from Connecticut): Kitija Laksa, SF, Latvia
12. New York Liberty (from Washington): Jazmine Jones, G, Louisville
13. New York Liberty (from Atlanta): Kylee Shook, F, Louisville
14. Indiana Fever (from New York via Minnesota): Kathleen Doyle, G, Iowa
15. New York Liberty (from Dallas): Leaonna Odom, F, Duke
16. Minnesota Lynx (from Indiana): Crystal Dangerfield, G, Connecticut
17. Atlanta Dream (from Phoenix): Brittany Brewer, F, Texas Tech
18. Phoenix Mercury (from Minnesota): Te'a Cooper, G, Baylor
19. Seattle Storm: Joyner Holmes, F, Texas
20. Los Angeles Sparks (from Chicago): Beatrice Mompremier, F, Miami
21. Dallas Wings (from Las Vegas): Luisa Geiselsoder, C, Germany
22. Los Angeles Sparks: Leonie Fiebich, SG, Germany
23. Connecticut Sparks: Kaila Charles, G/F, Maryland
24. Washington Mystics: Jaylyn Agnew, F, Creighton
25. Atlanta Dream: Mikayla Pivec, G, Oregon State
26. New York Liberty: Erica Ogwumike, G, Rice
27. Atlanta Dream (from Dallas): Kobi Thornton, F, Clemson
28. Indiana Fever: Kamiah Smalls, G, James Madison
29. Phoenix Mercury: Stella Johnson, G, Rider
30. Chicago Sky (from Minnesota): Japreece Dean, G, UCLA
31. Seattle Storm: Haley Gorecki, G, Duke
32. Chicago Sky: Kiah Gillespie, F, Florida State
33. Las Vegas Aces: Lauren Manis, F, Holy Cross
34. Los Angeles Sparks: Tynice Martin, G, West Virginia
35. Connecticut Sun: Juicy Landrum, G, Baylor
36. Washington Mystics: Sug Sutton
Not all of the action happened on the draft board, however, as two trades were brokered throughout the evening.
The New York Liberty acquired Jocelyn Willoughby from Phoenix, who had just been announced as the 10th overall pick, for Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. Then the Liberty flipped the No. 26 pick, Erica Ogwumike, to the Minnesota Lynx for Stephanie Talbot.
With Ogwumike's selection, she joins her two sisters in the WNBA.
Finally, at the end of the draft, Engelbert made one last major announcement, unveiling the Kobe and Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award, which strives to recognize individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women's and girl's basketball.
It was a fitting tribute after an evening that included multiple league personalities sharing their memories of Kobe and Gigi.
The award will be handed out annually at the NBA All-Star Game beginning in 2021 and the winner will be largely determined by Vanessa Bryant, who will present the award each year.