WNBA’s virtual draft sets standard for NFL and NBA

A live, televised virtual draft was just an idea—until the WNBA made it a reality.

The WNBA was the first professional league to conduct its draft virtually on live television on Friday, April 17. In doing so, it proved such an event can still work under quarantine and provided a template for other sports to follow.

The three-round, 36-pick event broadcasted on ESPN was crafted around giving prospects the best possible experience. According to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, a “player-first agenda” was the league’s priority in deciding both not to delay the draft and to incorporate prospects into the broadcast.

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