/  04.14.2022

Ameshya Williams-Holliday, a senior on Jackson State University women’s basketball team, has been drafted to the WNBA, making her the first HBCU player in 20 years to be recruited to the professional basketball league.

On Monday (April 11), Williams-Holliday was selected in the third round by the Indiana Fever. She is now the 25th overall athlete and the only HBCU athlete to be drafted to the WNBA this year.

“It’s an honor, a dream come true and a blessing to be able to be a part of history and to be able to open doors for our HBCU community,” Williams-Holliday said in a statement to CNN. “Being a trailblazer feels amazing, but there is so much more to accomplish.”

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to continue my career on the next level and most importantly to continue to be a great example for my son Jace and my younger siblings and for the kids in my community,” she continued. “I want every HBCU athlete to never lose hope and to know anything is possible.”

Williams-Holliday will join a small group of HBCU-turned WNBA stars, including Andrea Gardner, a Howard University alum, who was drafted by the Utah Starzz in 2002 and now plays for the Washington Mystics. Also included in the groundbreaking group are North Carolina Central’s Amba Kongolo, who was selected by the Phoenix Mercury; former Starzz draft pick Jacklyn Winfield from Southern University and A&M College; and ex-Howard players Denique Graves and Karen Wilkins, who were drafted to the league in 1997 and 1998, respectively.

While Williams-Holliday is proud of her accomplishment, she believes she’d be a higher draft pick if she wasn’t an HBCU athlete.

“I think if I was at a Power 5 school, it would be a different story of me being drafted or trying to get my foot in [the WNBA],” she previously told Andscape. “People think [HBCUs] can’t compete with other top institutions [or] a Power 5 school, but that’s not true,” she said. “I think we deserve to be on the same level. I do think if I was still at Mississippi State, I would be a first-round draft pick.”


King Combs vs. Pardison Fontaine (Semi-Finals) | ‘The Crew League’ (S2, Ep. 6)

In the most dramatic Crew League game yet, King Combs and The CYN Mob battle against Pardison Fontaine ...
  /  07.09.2021

Spotify presents ‘The Free Studio’ via its Frequency initiative to amplify Black expression

Spotify acknowledges it wouldn’t be what it is today without Black expression, and that is ...
  /  05.25.2022

How women's empowerment continues to shape the voice of hip hop and Nike today

Just as Nike empowers women to be confident and creative, we see the same in ...
  /  05.26.2022

Mari Copeny aka Little Miss Flint and the young revolutionary's fight for change

Mari Copeny takes top honors for her environmental justice activism. The young advocate, who is ...
  /  05.27.2022
View More