14.7 C
New York
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
No menu items!

Aces’ Kate Martin moved to tears after making back-to-back championship roster

In a moment filled with emotion and pride, former Iowa women’s basketball player Kate Martin secured her spot on the Las Vegas Aces roster for opening day Tuesday, joining the back-to-back WNBA champions. Martin, selected in the second round of the 2024 WNBA Draft, is one of four second-round picks to make a roster as the league kicks off its 2024 season.

“I found out a few days ago and I cried,” Martin said, per the Associated Press. “I was so excited. I felt like a lot of hard work was paying off. Whenever you come into a team like this who are back-to-back world champions, you don’t really know what your odds are going to be. I was really proud of myself and really happy that I gave myself the opportunity to make the team and be alongside some great teammates.”

Martin’s journey to the Aces roster was not without its challenges. She was the only one among her fellow second-round draftees to not receive an invitation to the WNBA draft. Regardless, Martin attended the draft to support her former Iowa teammate and No. 1 draft pick, Caitlin Clark. When her name was called, she came up to the state from the audience to experience her unexpected draft moment.

The Aces, led by Becky Hammon, are regarded as one of the best teams in WNBA history. The roster, brimming with talent including stars like A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray, has set a high bar for any new draftee. Martin’s inclusion in such an elite roster highlights her skill and potential.

Wilson, the 27-year-old Aces star, expressed her excitement over Martin’s arrival when she was drafted.

“Welcome @kate_martin22!!! I have an outfit for you,” Wilson tweeted at the time.

Making WNBA roster a dream come true for Kate Martin

Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Kate Martin poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected with the number eighteen overall pick to the Las Vegas Aces in the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The competitive nature of making a WNBA roster is highlighted by the league’s picky selection process. With only 12 teams and a maximum of 144 roster spots, the WNBA is known for being one of the toughest leagues to break into. This year, only 13 of the 36 players drafted in April made their respective rosters. Notably, some high-profile first-round picks, including international players Carla Leite, Leila Lacan and Nyadiew Puoch, did not make the opening day rosters as they did not attend camp.

Martin’s success story is even more remarkable considering that some third-round picks were advised to play overseas to retain their rights with their franchises. The WNBA’s new rule allowing teams to invite 18 players to training camp has offered more opportunities for players to showcase their skills. The extended camp roster also benefits teams by providing a preview of potential mid-season replacements.

New York Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb praised the expanded camp rosters.

“It’s great as it gives us an opportunity to see more people in camp. If you had to add players in-season for various reasons, we get a head start on that. It’s a great opportunity for them,” Kolb said.

The selection process means that even players who do not make the final cut can benefit from the experience. Training camps serve as valuable exposure, helping players secure opportunities overseas. Stephanie Mawuli, for instance, parlayed her camp experiences with the Liberty into a successful stint in Spain.

For Martin, making the Aces roster is a dream come true and a testament to her hard work and determination. In her final college season, Martin averaged 13.1 points per game, shooting 50.7% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc. Her defensive prowess and rebounding ability, highlighted by her 6.8 rebounds per game in her senior year, make her a valuable addition to the Las Vegas roster.

Source link

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles