INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever selected forward NaLyssa Smith (pronounced nuh-LISS-uh) from Baylor with the second overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft on Monday night.
“NaLyssa will have an immediate impact on the Indiana Fever franchise. The All-American and two-time Big 12 Player of the Year will provide immediate scoring and rebounding for our team. Her versatility will be a key to our rebuilding process,” Fever Interim General Manager Lin Dunn said.
From 2018-22 with the Bears, Smith compiled 2,048 points and 1,098 rebounds, making her the seventh player in Baylor history to reach at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their career. Smith was the All-Big 12 Player of the Year twice and made the All-Big 12 First Team her final three years with Baylor.
During the 2021-22 season, Smith averaged 22.1 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 blocks in 32.9 minutes per contest in 35 games, all of which she started. The 6-foot-4 Converse, Texas, native received the Katrina McClain Award as the nation’s top power forward her last two seasons in Waco, becoming the second person in the award’s history to repeat, joining Ruthy Hebard.
Career: Was the 2021 Nat’l POY winner (2021 Wade Trophy; Honda Award), a 2x Big XII POY (2022; ’21), and a finalist for 2022 Nat’l POY honors (Wade; Naismith), is on 5-player ballot for Wooden Award as Nat’l POY; and is 1 of 10 semifinalists for Naismith Nat’l Def. POY and 1 of 5 finalists for Katrina McClain Award as nation’s top power forward. 2x First Team All-America (2022/AP; Athletic; SI; USBWA and 2021/AP; ESPN; WBCA; Wooden). 3x All-Big XII First Team (2020-22); Big XII All-Def. Team (2022); 2019 Big XII Sixth Woman of Year as true frosh. 2021-22: Third in D-I double-dubs (24) and at 22.1 ppg and 11.5 rpg was only player avg’g 22+ pts and 11+ rebs. Her 28p/20r at Okla. St. on Feb. 28 made her only the 2nd player with 25/20 in a top-10 matchup in the last 20 seasons (Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford/2013) … PREP: Earned multiple All-America honors at San Antonio-area’s East Central HS … PERS: Daughter of Rodney and Nikki Smith, Majoring in Mass Communications
Birthdate:May 20, 2000
Birthplace:New York, NY
High School:St. Francis Prep
Career: Excelled for Louisville and HC Jeff Walz in 2021-22 after spending 3 seasons at Syracuse. Admired by Walz for her versatility, size, strength, passing, and basketball IQ. This season, was 1 of 5 finalists for Cheryl Miller Award as nation’s best small forward, 1 of 10 semifinalists for Naismith Nat’l DPOY. Also was All-ACC First Team and All-Def. Team with Cards a year after being ACC Co-Sixth Player of Year with ‘Cuse … 2021-22: Finished among ACC’s top five in rebs., blocks, pacing UL in each … 2020-21: In final season at SU, excelled off the bench, avg’g a near double-double … 2019-20: Started all 31 games; led Orange in total rebounds, total blocks … PREP: 2018 New York Gatorade POY, McDonald’s All-America. Five-star recruit, No. 2 wing by espnW HoopGurlz … PERS: Parents Marilyn and William Engstler. Has one brother, one sister. Majored in communications/rhetorical studies at Syracuse.
Birthdate:September 13, 1999
High School:Central Valley
Career: 2021 Nat’l Champion and 3x Pac-12 Trnmnt champ (2022; ‘21; ‘19) with Stanford. Helped Cardinal advance to this year’s Sweet 16 by dropping career-high 36 pts on Kansas in NCAA Second Round. Also 3x All-Pac-12 First Team (2022; ‘21; ‘20) and a Pac-12 All-Defensive pick this year … 2020-21: Helped Stanford win nat’l title as team’s steals leader while earning All-Trnmnt honors for Pac-12, NCAA Regional, and Final Four. Had double-doubles in both Final Four games … PREP: 2x Washington Gatorade POY (2018; ‘17); 3x AP Class 4A State POY (2018, ‘17, ‘16). CHVS’s career/season pts leader (1,883 / 607). As senior, avg’d 20p, led 29-0 team to state title; was All-America; state POY (AP, Gatorade, WSGBCA); and shared Seattle Times’ Co-State POY with twin sister, Lacie. Played club for Spokane Stars … PERS: Parents Jaime and Jason. Sister, Lacie, plays at Stanford. Father was D-III All-American at Whitworth in 1994.
Birthdate:June 29, 2000
High School:Travis High School
Career: Played 2021-22 campaign at Baylor for HC Nicki Collen after 3 yrs. under Kim Mulkey. 2x member of final 5 candidates for Lisa Leslie Award as nation’s best center (2021; ‘20); also was among 10 semifinalists this year … 2021-22: Hon. Mention All-Big XII pick joined fellow prospect NaLyssa Smith in helping Bears earn 12th straight Big XII reg-seas title … 2020-21: All-Big 12 Second Team (2021/Waco Trib.). No. 2 in Big 12 with 56 blks … 2019-20: Named Big XII’s Sixth Player of Year (league’s coaches and by Waco Tribune-Herald) … 2018-19: As frosh reserve, helped Bears to national title alongside future W draft picks Kalani Brown, Lauren Cox, Chloe Jackson … PREP: 2018 All-America (McDonald’s; Jordan) avg’g 17.3p, 12.4r for coach Tanisha Ellison. Ranked No. 7 overall/No. 2 at her position (ESPN) … PERS: Daughter of Amaechi and Amazilo Egbo.