Tar Heels in WNBA – Season Tips Off

The WNBA tipped off its 25th season on Friday evening and currently, there are four Tar Heels on rosters throughout the league; Stephanie Watts, Allisha Gray, Jessica Breland and Diamond DeShields.

Ceiling is the Roof will be keeping a close eye on the Tar Heels in the WNBA and providing their latest statistics and highlights throughout the season.

Follow @britishtarheel on Twitter for more Tar Heel updates.

Allisha Gray – Dallas Wings

Allisha Gray played her first two seasons in Chapel Hill, then transferred to the University of South Carolina and winning a National Championship before foregoing her final year of eligibility to head to the WNBA.

The Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year was picked with the fourth pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft by the Dallas Wings and had an unbelievable first season. Gray was awarded Rookie of the Year.

Gray has started the 2021 season on the right foot in leading her team with 23 points in a win against the Los Angeles Sparks. The guard also provided 9 boards and 4 steals in the victory on opening night. Gray is also playing with this year’s number one pick, Charlie Collier.

Gray’s and the Wings next game will be quite the challenge as it is against the reigning champions, Seattle Storm.

Originally tweeted by Dallas Wings (@DallasWings) on May 15, 2021.

94-71 (WIN) vs Los Angeles Sparks
23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in 36 minutes.

Statistics are up to date as of May 15th (source: wnba.com)

Jessica Breland – Indiana Fever

Jessica Breland is the veteran Tar Heel in the WNBA and is now on her sixth team in the league. Breland is now a nine-year veteran and playing for the Indiana Fever for the second time in her career. She is a former All-Star and hoping to bring some experience to the Fever.

Breland is another Tar Heel who has won the Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina, before spending five years at the University of North Carolina, then being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in the second round of the 2011 WNBA Draft.

Indiana’s opening game was in New York against the highly-anticipated Sabrina Donescu’s debut for the New York Liberty. Breland came off the bench and provided 8 points and 4 rebounds in a loss to the Liberty off a last-second game-winner from Donescu that you couldn’t appreciate… okay maybe not the Fever fans.

Breland and Indiana play again on Sunday against the NY Liberty and will try to get redemption.

87-90 (LOSS) vs New York Liberty
8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal in 17 minutes.

DALLAS WINGS201930.410.64.12.3
Statistics are up to date as of May 15th (source: wnba.com)

Stephanie Watts – Chicago Sky

Stephanie Watts started her Carolina career under Coach Hatchell in 2015 coming in as a McDonald’s All-American and North Carolina’s Gatorade Player of the Year in her senior year at Weddington High School. Watts had lots of highlights through college, including ACC Freshman of the Year. Although, a lot of time in Chapel Hill was spent on the sideline due to injury and then spending her senior year at USC, also including a season-ending injury.

Watts played the 2020/21 season with the Tar Heels again with her final game in the Carolina Blue with 29 points and 7 out of 11 from deep in her one and only NCAA Tournament game.

Watts was then picked with the tenth pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft, by the Chicago Sky playing alongside her childhood hero, Candace Parker.

“I grew up watching her, I had posters of her on my wall at some point. She’s obviously an idol of mine. She’s helpful. She’s a coach on and off the court, just always helpful no matter what I’m doing. If she’s on the sideline, she’s still helping me from the sideline. Her basketball IQ is so high that it’s infectious and spreads and helps us in every single way possible.”

Stephanie Watts on Candace Parker (Source: Tar Heel Tribune)

Watts made her debut on Saturday against the Washington Mystics coming off the bench for two minutes in a win for the Sky.

Diamond DeShields – Chicago Sky

Diamond DeShields spent her freshman season at the University of North Carolina and breaking the record for points scored by a freshman in the ACC. DeShields then transferred to the Tennessee Volunteers for the rest of her college career.

DeShields was drafted by the Chicago Sky with the third pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft. In her second season, she was named an All-Star and is now a staple in the Chicago Sky roster.

DeShields played a big part in the Sky’s season-opening win against the Mystics with 7 points and 5 assists in the win.

Originally tweeted by Chicago Sky (@chicagosky) on May 15, 2021.

70-56 (WIN) vs Chicago Sky
7 points, 5 assists, 1 steal in 28 minutes.

DALLAS WINGS201930.410.64.12.3
Statistics are up to date as of May 15th (source: wnba.com)

Currently, there are only four Tar Heels in the WNBA, but keep an eye out for more to come in through the season including Paris Kea, who is identified as a Reserved Player in the 2021 Free Agency Hub. Tiarra Ruffin-Pratt is also an experienced Tar Heel who was recently waived by Los Angeles. Petra Holešínská and Janelle Bailey who both recently graduated from UNC will be hoping to make their way onto a WNBA roster.

Ceiling is the Roof will be posting updates on the Tar Heels through the season every two weeks, keeping you informed on all their statistics and how the WNBA season is going.

Have you watched or listen to the latest podcast episode with Joel Berry II? Watch it below or listen on all podcast platforms.

The Podcast is now available on many different platforms; YouTubeSpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsPocket CastsRadioPublicCastbox and Anchor FM.

Follow @britishtarheel on Twitter for more Tar Heel updates.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: