The WNBA Draft came and went on Thursday evening, and two former Syracuse Orange women’s basketball players heard their names called during the proceedings.
Brittney Sykes was selected seventh overall to the Atlanta Dream, surprising most by being the first SU player called. She was the second first-round pick in school history, behind Kayla Alexander, who was eighth back in 2013. That makes Sykes the highest-drafted Orange player in the history of the WNBA .
Little time elapsed in the second round before Peterson was also selected. The Seattle Storm chose her at No. 15 overall, just three picks into the second.
After starring in the Syracuse backcourt together for their college careers, Peterson and Sykes now get to share a little bit of history as WNBA selections as well. As the fourth and fifth players in school history to get drafted, they’re also the first Orange (women’s basketball) teammates to go in the same draft.
Neither Atlanta nor Seattle had ever selected a Syracuse player before tonight. Alexander was picked by the San Antonio Stars, while Beth Record (2001) and Brianna Butler (2016) were both picked by the Los Angeles Sparks.
Unfortunately, Briana Day was not selected, despite her rebounding ability. She could get a chance to make a roster this offseason, however, or potentially sign overseas (as many WNBA players end up doing whether they make the league or not).
For Sykes and Peterson, they’ll both be stepping into winning situations -- like they were used to in their time at Syracuse. Last year, both the Storm and Dream respectively made the WNBA Playoffs. In Seattle, Peterson will be teaming up with a familiar face as well, in former UConn star Breanna Stewart.
Congratulations to both drafted players, and best of luck to Day as well. After thrilling four-year careers, we should be glad to enjoy watching these former Orange stars continue to play basketball. The 2017 season begins on May 13. Both the Dream and Storm will be playing (not against one another) on opening night.