NaLyssa Smith (No. 2 overall) leads trio of Bears selected in 2022 WNBA draft
For the first time in program history, Baylor women’s basketball had two top-10 picks in the WNBA draft — and the duo will get to be teammates at the next level.
First off the board: The Big 12’s most dominant player, NaLyssa Smith, who was selected No. 2 overall by the Indiana Fever. Smith followed up last year’s national player of the year honors by leading the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding in 2021-22, averaging a double-double with 22.1 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. Smith joined Brittney Griner (first overall in 2013) and Odyssey Sims (second overall in 2014) as the highest picks in program history.
But Baylor’s night was far from over. Eight picks after Smith, the Fever added her once-and-future teammate, Queen Egbo, with the 10th overall pick. Later in the evening, Jordan Lewis was selected in the second round (24th overall) by the Connecticut Sun. The three Baylor draftees matched a program record, set in 2020, for most Bears drafted in one year.
The trio helped lead the Bears to the program’s 12th consecutive Big 12 title, drawing All-Big 12 honors in the process and capping off impressive Baylor careers. Smith earned back-to-back Big 12 Player of the Year honors in ’20-21 and ’21-22, while Lewis was this year’s Big 12 Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Alabama. Egbo was the 2020 Big 12 Sixth Person of the Year before ascending to a starting role.
Now, these three Bears are headed to the pros, joining current former Bears in the WNBA such as Griner, Sims, Kalani Brown, DiJonai Carrington, Te’a Cooper, Lauren Cox, DiDi Richards and Kristy Wallace.
Sic ’em, Baylor WNBA draftees!