NEW YORK – The WNBA is the latest pro sports league to announce an update on its working schedule. The league stated on Thursday that the WNBA Draft 2020, presented by State Farm, will be held on April 17 as scheduled.
With the obvious precautions and protocol in mind, the WNBA will conduct a virtual draft without players, guests, and media. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the draft picks live on ESPN2 with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET, and top prospects will take part remotely.
“The WNBA Draft is a time to celebrate the exceptional athletes whose hard work and dreams are realized with their selections in the Draft,” saidEngelbert. “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.”
During the draft, the WNBA will honor Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna Bryant and Payton Chester – who passed away in the terrible helicopter accident involving NBA superstar Kobe Bryant on Jan. 26. The WNBA also plans to honor Kobe (Gianna’s proud dad), a passionate advocate of the league, at the draft and during the upcoming season.
The league is conducting ongoing scenario planning around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the upcoming season, including the currently scheduled start of training camp on April 26 and the scheduled tip of the WNBA season on May 15, and will provide updates regarding any changes to key dates.