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Gonzaga Women's Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga women

Trio of Gonzaga seniors await professional fates ahead of WNBA Draft

UPDATED: Tue., April 13, 2021

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jill Townsend, right, chats with forward LeeAnne Wirth as the clock winds down during the second half of a college basketball game on Feb. 13 at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. Forward Jenn Wirth is at left.  (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-RE)
Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jill Townsend, right, chats with forward LeeAnne Wirth as the clock winds down during the second half of a college basketball game on Feb. 13 at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. Forward Jenn Wirth is at left. (Tyler Tjomsland/THE SPOKESMAN-RE)

There’s a decent chance that one or two former Gonzaga players will hear their names called in Thursday’s WNBA draft.

There’s also a good possibility that Jill Townsend and twins Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth won’t care one way or another.

All three players declined to comment on their level of interest, while GU coach Lisa Fortier said Townsend and the Wirth sisters are keeping their options open.

That makes sense. While all three have declared for the draft, none is guaranteed to be selected.

Townsend, a 5-foot-11 guard with a versatile game, has been projected by some mock drafts to go as early as the second round.

Jenn Wirth, a 6-3 forward with a strong outside shot, is the only GU player listed in the latest ESPN mock draft, where she is projected as a third-round pick by the Connecticut Sun. LeeAnne Wirth is not projected to be drafted.

The WNBA will hold its three-round virtual draft beginning at 4 p.m. without players, guests, and media. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the draft picks live on ESPN, and top prospects will take part remotely. The draft will also be available on the ESPN app.

With only 12 teams in the league and many players competing well into their 30s, selection is no guarantee of making a squad.

Last year, only one player taken in the second round of the draft stuck around until the opening game. No players picked in the third round made a roster.

All three players might consider playing overseas, a path taken by many former GU players.

Jill Barta, the most recent Zag drafted by the WNBA, went in the third round in 2018 before being cut by the Minnesota Lynx. She played in Montenegro the following year before returning to her native Montana and going into teaching.

Only once have two GU players been drafted in the same year. That happened in 2012 when Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon were selected.

Former GU great Courtney Vandersloot is the lone Bulldog on a WNBA roster. Vandersloot is entering her 11th season with the Chicago Sky, who selected her with the third overall pick in the 2011 draft.

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