Ameshya Williams-Holliday, a Jackson State University senior, has become the first player from an HBCU to be drafted into the WNBA since 2002.
Indiana Fever selected Williams-Holliday in the third round, 25th overall.
“It’s an honor, a dream come true, and a blessing to be able to be a part of history and to be able to open doors for our HBCU community,” Williams-Holliday told CNN. “Being a trailblazer feels amazing, but there is so much more to accomplish.”
The basketball star was originally recruited to play at Mississippi State. She then quit basketball in 2017 before returning shortly after the birth of her son.
Williams-Holliday is a three-time first-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection and SWAC Defensive Player of the Year. Denique Graves (1997), Karen Wilkins (1998), and 2002 picks Andrea Gardner, Amba Kongolo and Jaclyn Winfield are so far the only other HBCU prospects drafted in the WNBA’s 25-year existence.
Williams-Holliday returned to the court in 2019 with Jackson State.
“I’m very grateful for this opportunity to continue my career on the next level and most importantly to continue to be a great example for my son Jace and my younger siblings and for the kids in my community,” she continued. “I want every HBCU athlete to never lose hope and to know anything is possible.”
Fever also made history this week by becoming the first WNBA team to make four selections in the first round.
The Indiana team also scooped up NaLyssa Smith No. 2 overall, Louisville forward Emily Engstler fourth overall, Stanford guard Lexie Hull sixth overall and Baylor center Queen Egbo 10th overall.