WNBA Draft: Miss Michigan Basketball winner goes No. 4 overall; CMU's Micaela Kelly taken 21st

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Two Michigan natives were selected in the WNBA Draft, held virtually Thursday night.

West Virginia redshirt senior guard Kysre Gondrezick, a Benton Harbor native and the 2016 Miss Michigan Basketball winner, was selected fourth overall in the first round by the Indiana Fever. Then, Central Michigan senior guard Micaela Kelly of Detroit went No. 21 overall in Round 2 to the Connecticut Sun.

Micaela Kelly.

Gondrezick, who began her collegiate career at Michigan before transferring to West Virginia, finished her college career with 1,503 points, including more than 1,000 at West Virginia. She was first-team All-Big 12 this past season, as well as honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press and Women's Basketball Coaches Association. For her West Virginia career, Gondrezick, at 5-foot-9, averaged 17.1 points, 19.5 as a senior.

In 2016-17 at Michigan, she made the Big Ten's all-freshman team, averaging 14.9 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Gondrezick becomes the fourth Miss Michigan Basketball winner to be drafted into the WNBA, following Tori Jankoska (Michigan State, 2013 winner, No. 9 overall in 2017 draft), Liz Shimek (MSU, 2001 winner, No. 18 overall in 2006 draft) and Tabitha Pool (Michigan, 2000 winner, No. 23 overall in 2005 draft).

Kelly, a 5-6 Detroit King alum, helped lead Central Michigan to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 run in 2018 after sitting out the previous year after transferring from DePaul. She averaged 23.9 points — eighth in Division I, a fraction behind Michigan's Naz Hillmon — 4.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists this past season. She formed a dynamic duo with sophomore Molly Davis as the Chippewas won the Mid-American Conference tournament title before falling to Iowa in the NCAA Tournament opener.

As a junior, Kelly averaged 21.5 points (fifth in the nation), 6.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists in taking home MAC player-of-the-year honors. She averaged 14.6 points as a sophomore and 11.5 as a freshman, starting every game during her Central Michigan career.

Kelly could've returned to Central Michigan for a fifth season because of the NCAA's "free" year clause amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but she was ready to move on.

"She deserves a shot in the league. She wants to play at the next level," Central Michigan coach Heather Oesterle said at the end of the season. "I would give anything to have her back, but I also know her dreams."

Kelly becomes the seventh player to be taken out of a Michigan college in the WNBA Draft, which began in 1997. She's the second from Central Michigan, joining Crystal Bradford (2015), and the first since Michigan State's Jankoska (2017).

The highest-drafted player out of a Michigan school in the WNBA Draft was Michigan State's Aerial Powers, who went No. 5 overall in 2016.


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Twitter: @tonypaul1984