Joyner Holmes (19th overall pick) and Haley Gorecki (31st) round out Seattle’s 2020 draft class
SEATTLE – In the first round of the 2020 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, the Seattle Storm selected Latvian guard Kitija Laksa (KIT-tee-uh LOCK-suh). The former University of South Florida standout was joined by Joyner Holmes (19th overall) and Haley Gorecki (31st) in the second and third rounds of the virtually-held event, respectively.
A two-time All-American Athletic Conference First Team selection, Laksa averaged 17.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in her career at USF and finished No. 6 in program history in career scoring. In 2017-18, her final full season with the Bulls, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award finalist led the NCAA in free throw percentage (.965) and ranked second in scoring in the AAC (21.1 points per game). Following an ACL tear in her third game of her senior year, the Riga, Latvia native returned to her motherland and signed with TTT Riga. In seven EuroLeague appearances this season, she averaged 8.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. Laksa has represented the Latvian National Team and competed at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup against Storm players Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd.
In the second round with the No. 19 overall pick, the Storm selected Joyner Holmes from the University of Texas, Austin. The 6-foot-3 forward from Cedar Hill, Texas burst onto the scene as the 2017 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and collected All-Big 12 First Team honors. In her final year at Texas, Holmes paced the Longhorns with 13.1 points per game and was a top-10 finalist for the Katrina McClain award. An All-Big 12 Honorable Mention each of the last two seasons, Holmes holds the program record for most consecutive double-doubles with seven. Holmes has also suited up for USA Basketball and earned a silver medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup after posting a 6-1 tournament record.
In the third round, Seattle selected guard Haley Gorecki. Hailing from Palatine, Ill., Gorecki averaged 14.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in her career at Duke University, culminating with a career-high 18.5 points and 4.4 assists per game in her final season. A top-5 finalist for the 2020 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and two-time All-ACC First Team selection, Gorecki led her squad in average points, rebounds and assists in back-to-back seasons. Her defensive contributions also garnered All-ACC Defensive Team honors during her 2019-20 season as a graduate student-athlete.
The WNBA announced on April 3 that the 2020 training camp and regular season will be postponed as developments continue to emerge around the COVID-19 pandemic. The league continues to scenario plan for new start dates and innovative formats when it is safe to return to play.