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2019 WNBA Draft: Mystics select NC State's Kiara Leslie

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2019 WNBA Draft: Mystics select NC State's Kiara Leslie

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jackie Young said it was a dream come true to be taken first in the WNBA draft.

The Notre Dame guard, who decided to enter the draft early and skip her senior season, was selected No. 1 by the Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday night.

"Since I was a little girl I always wanted to play in the WNBA and now I have my chance," she said.

She's the second Irish player to be drafted first after entering early joining Jewell Loyd, who had the honor in 2015.

It's the third consecutive year the Aces have had the No. 1 pick. They took Kelsey Plum in 2017 when the franchise was still in San Antonio. The Aces then drafted A'ja Wilson last season with the No. 1 pick when the franchise moved to Las Vegas.

Young wasn't thrilled that she didn't have much time to make her decision after the Irish lost the championship game Sunday night to Baylor. She had 24 hours to decide whether she wanted to turn pro or go back to play for the Irish.

"It was definitely a hard process for me," Young said. "I had to sit down, talk to my family, talk to Coach (Muffet) McGraw and make the best decision for me."

Young was the first of five Notre Dame players to be drafted. Arike Ogunbowale went fifth to Dallas. Brianna Turner went 11th to the Atlanta Dream. She was later traded to the Phoenix Mercury for Marie Gulich. Jessica Shepard was taken 16th by the Minnesota Lynx. Marina Mabrey was the fifth Notre Dame player to go, drafted 19th by the Los Angeles Sparks.

"It's a historic moment for our program," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "We've had a lot of accomplishments, but this one stands alone. It's probably something that will never happen again. Because of the injury to Bri and Jess coming in, it's atypical of having that kind of class. But it's incredible what they accomplished."

Tennessee is the only school to have that occur with college players, in 2008. Candace Parker was taken first. Alexis Hornbuckle was drafted fourth. Shannon Bobbitt and Nicky Anosike went back-to-back in the second round and Alberta Auguste was taken in the third round.

Asia Durr went second to the New York Liberty. The Louisville guard, who was a two-time AP All-American, was the No. 2 scorer in school history. The Indiana Fever then took Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan at No. 3. Chicago drafted a UConn player for the second consecutive season taking Katie Lou Samuelson fourth reconnecting her with former Huskies teammate Gabby Williams.

Another UConn player went sixth with Napheesa Collier headed to Minnesota. She could provide some help for the Lynx, who will be missing Maya Moore for the season as she sits out to focus more on things other than basketball. The Lynx had a busy draft taking Shepard and Cierra Dillon of Buffalo in the second round. They also traded Natisha Hiedeman, whom they drafted 16th to Connecticut for Lexie Brown. They drafted Kenisha Bell of Minnesota in the third round.

The Los Angeles Sparks took Baylor center Kalani Brown seventh. It's been a whirlwind 72 hours for the 6-foot-7 center as she helped Baylor win a national championship on Sunday.

Australian Alanna Smith, who helped Stanford win the Pac-12 Tournament title was drafted eighth by Phoenix. The Mercury are coached by fellow Aussie Sandy Brondello. Kristine Anigwe went ninth to Connecticut. The Cal center, who led the nation in rebounding, was the national defensive player of the year. Washington took Kiara Leslie with the 10th pick and Ezi Magbegor closed out the opening round by going to defending champion Seattle.

Chinese sensation Han Xu was drafted 14th by the New York Liberty. The 6-foot-9 center became the first Chinese player drafted since 1997. There was some talk that Han wouldn't be able to play this summer as she would have to compete for the Chinese national team. She said that she expected to play for New York this summer.

The WNBA season opens on May 24th with training camps opening up a few weeks earlier.

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How to Watch Wizards vs. Pacers NBA 2K20 simulation and Bradley Beal's 55-point game vs. Bucks

How to Watch Wizards vs. Pacers NBA 2K20 simulation and Bradley Beal's 55-point game vs. Bucks

Sunday night was supposed to feature another exciting Wizard’s game against the Indiana Pacers. However, because the NBA season remains suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, games are not being played as planned. 

Although fans can’t tune into Wizards games in a traditional sense, just like everything else in the world right now, there is a virtual alternative. The Wizards vs. Pacers game will still go on as planned but will be an NBA 2K20 video game simulation. 

This format allows fans to watch a broadcast of the video game where the computer has control. Additionally, the game will feature commentary from NBC Sports Washington’s Wizards experts.

The Wizards fun continues after the game ends, as there is a replay of a game against the Bucks from earlier this season when Bradley Beal hit 55 points in his second of back-to-back 50-points games.

Here's everything you need to join the Wizards action on Sunday night. 

When: 

Sunday, April 5 at 7 PM ET

Where:

  • NBC Sports Washington (channel finder
  • Any of our 24/7 authenticated streaming platforms
  • Monumental Sports Network via its website www.monumentalsportsnetwork.com or via any of its available apps on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox.

Broadcast schedule

07:00 PM: NBA 2K20 Simulation: Wizards @ Indiana Pacers (P)

08:00 PM: NBA Classics: Milwaukee Bucks @ Wizards (R)

10:30 PM: NBA 2K20 Simulation: Wizards @ Indiana Pacers (R)

11:30 PM: NBA Classics: Brooklyn Nets @ Wizards (R)

Starting lineups

Wizards: TBD
Pacers: TBD

If you miss the NBA basketball season like all do, tune into NBC Sports Washington on Sunday night to experience the best alternative to a live game. 

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Wizards use strong finish against 76ers to pull out another 2K simulation win

Wizards use strong finish against 76ers to pull out another 2K simulation win

In yet another close finish, the Wizards won their fifth game in seven tries in Friday night's NBA 2K simulation. They managed to take down the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 74-69, who were no doubt hindered by the absence of young star Ben Simmons. 

Bradley Beal starred with 28 points in the game, including 10 in the first quarter, but it was Shabazz Napier who sealed the deal with eight points in the decisive fourth quarter. With 30 seconds left in the game, Napier rebounded his own miss and found Thomas Bryant for a short jumper to seal the victory.

Napier finished with 14 points and 6 assists, and he and Beal combined to go a perfect 8-8 at the free throw line in the game.

The young guard also dished it out, including one of the game's biggest highlights when he found a flying Rui Hachimura above the rim.

Here are some key takeaways from the Wizards' latest win.

Strong runs bookend the game

The Wizards struggled in the middle of the game, but they both started and finished strong.

Buoyed by their strong defense, the Wizards took advantage of Ben Simmons' injury to completely stifle the 76ers early. After the first quarter, Washington led 19-10 and looked like they might run away with the game. 

After allowing the 76ers to chip away in the second and third quarters, the Wizards found themselves trailing midway through the fourth quarter. Then, Napier and Beal took over once more, combining for 14 points in the quarter during a key 18-4 Wizards run.

Strong paint performance

The Wizards allowed Philadelphia to record seven blocks in the game, but otherwise dominated in the paint. Even without Ben Simmons on the floor, 76ers center Joel Embiid couldn't get going, finishing the first half with zero points.

On the other side of the court, the Wizards saw great production from their frontcourt. Thomas Bryant has been consistently pulling in rebounds in recent games, and that remained true with nine more boards Friday night.

Moe Wagner was all over the place for the Wizards as well, just missing a double-double. He finished with 9 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with 3 blocks.

Overall, the Wizards outscored the 76ers 46-32 in the paint in the game. 

Wizards overcome lack of 3-point shooting

In the era of pace-and-space, it's rare to see a team win without shooting the ball well. But that's exactly what happened Friday night. While the Wizards enjoyed a big advantage in the paint, they struggled to find their shots from beyond the arc.

Washington made just two 3-point shots in the game, attempting only six. Bradley Beal missed his only attempt from long range, and notorious marksman Davis Bertans finished the game with zero total shot attempts.

The 76ers' shooting night wasn't much better. Philadelphia finished 6-of-18 on three-point shots, with Tobias Harris making half of those thanks to a 3-for-5 night.

Other parting thoughts

Beal may not have had the game's biggest highlights, but even in the virtual world he cannot be stopped from scoring.

Scoring 28 points in 26 minutes is the definition of a video game statline. His 12 points in the third quarter were crucial in keeping the Wizards in the lead.

Rui Hachimura may not have had his best statistical performance, but one of the top rookies in the league managed to impress with his court vision.

There are few things more beautiful in (virtual) basketball than great defense turning into easy transition offense.

Having won five of their last seven games, the 2K Wizards will head to Indiana Sunday to take on a quality virtual Pacers team. 

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