K-State’s Breanna Lewis will be continuing her basketball career. The All-Big 12 center, who averaged 13.9 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior in 2016-17, was selected by the Dallas Wings in the second round of Thursday’s 2017 WNBA Draft with the 23rd overall pick.
Lewis, at 6’5”, came to Manhattan from Riverside High School in Milwaukee, Wis., and along with Kindred Wesemann led the Wildcats to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. She becomes the eighth Wildcat selected in the WNBA draft, following Olga Firsova and Shanele Stires (2000), Nicole Ohlde (2004), Kendra Wecker and Megan Mahoney (2005), Shalee Lehning (2009), and Brittany Chambers (2013).
Although K-State hasn’t had players drafted every year, every Wildcat squad since 1996 — which was the WNBA’s first season, as it happens — has included at least one future draft pick. Lewis is not the only member of the 2013-14 Wildcats who was drafted on Thursday; Florida State’s Leticia Romero was also selected in the second round, by Connecticut with the 16th overall pick.
Lewis will join a team in transition. Last season was the first year in Dallas for the franchise which was formerly the Tulsa Shock, and the Detroit Shock before that. Since winning the WNBA title three times in six years in Detroit, the Wings have only made two playoff appearances in eight seasons.
However, there is hope that a surfeit of draft picks this season, including both the third and fourth picks in the first round, will help. Lewis was the fourth player selected by Dallas in this draft, after Kentucky’s Evelyn Akhator (3rd) and South Carolina’s Allisha Gray (4th) and Kaela Davis (10th). Dallas concluded their draft with the 26th pick, Connecticut’s Saniya Chong.
Washington’s Kelsey Plum, the NCAA’s new all-time scoring leader, was taken first overall by San Antonio; South Carolina star Alaina Coates was taken second by Chicago, giving the national champion Gamecocks three first-round selections.
Lewis was the second Big 12 player selected, with Baylor’s Alexis Jones going to Minnesota with the 12th and final pick in the first round. The third round saw Baylor’s Alexis Prince selected 29th overall by Phoenix, followed a pick later by Seattle’s selection of West Virginia’s Lanay Montgomery.