Shakira Austin selected third overall in WNBA draft

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, April 12, 2022

NEW YORK — Ole Miss center Shakira Austin was selected by the Washington Mystics with the third overall pick in the 2022 WNBA draft, becoming the first Ole Miss player selected in over a decade.

Austin averaged 16.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in two seasons with the Rebels. She is one of the most decorated players in Ole Miss history, earning back-to-back First Team All-SEC honors, back-to-back Gillom Trophy awards and an AP honorable mention All-American honor.

She was named to the 2022 SEC All-Tournament team after averaging 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as she led the Rebels to the third SEC tournament semifinal in school history.

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The 6-foot-5 center/forward also led the Rebels to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 15 seasons in 2022, establishing herself as one of the premiere all-around talents in women’s college basketball.

ESPN draft analyst LaChina Robinson called Austin a “competitor,” citing her size, mobility and athleticism as indicators of success at the next level.

Austin, a native of Fredericksburg, Va., spent two seasons at Maryland before transferring to Ole Miss in 2020. She makes her return to the DMV at the professional level, joining a loaded frontcourt that includes two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne.

She will have less than a month to familiarize herself with her new team before the WNBA season kicks off on May 6. The Mystics will face No. 1 overall pick Rhyne Howard and the Indiana Fever on opening night in Washington, D.C. at 6 p.m. CT.