Historic Moment In WNBA As Ameshya Williams-Holliday Becomes First Player From HBCU To Join League In 20 Years

by Gee NY

Gulfport, Mississippi, witnessed a groundbreaking moment in the world of basketball as Ameshya Williams-Holliday, a 6ft. 4-inch senior, etched her name in history.

She has become the first player from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) drafted into the WNBA in two decades.

Williams-Holliday’s remarkable achievement came in the third round, where she was selected 25th overall by the Indiana Fever, making her the second-highest-drafted HBCU player in WNBA history.

The Gulfport native, expressing her elation and gratitude, stated:

“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.” Clearly dedicated to paving the way for others, she added, “Being a trailblazer feels amazing, but there is so much more to accomplish.”

Williams-Holliday has had a stellar collegiate career, earning recognition as a three-time first-team All-SWAC selection and three-time league Defensive Player of the Year.

In a remarkable feat in 2022, she secured both SWAC Player Of The Year and Defensive Player Of The Year honors in the same season, showcasing her exceptional skills and unwavering commitment to excellence.

Beyond personal success, Williams-Holliday aspires to be a role model for her son, siblings, and the broader community, emphasizing the values of perseverance and belief in possibilities.

Her impressive statistics, averaging 16.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game throughout her college career, attest to her impact on the court.

The significance of Williams-Holliday’s draft goes beyond her individual achievement, shedding light on the underrepresentation of HBCU talent in the WNBA since its inception.

With only five players drafted from HBCUs since 1996, Williams-Holliday joins a select group, including Denique Graves and Karen Wilkins from Howard University in the late ’90s, alongside the 2020 drafts from Andrea Gardner (Howard University), Amba Kongolo (North Carolina Central University), and Jacklyn Winfield (Southern University and A&M College).

Williams-Holliday’s groundbreaking draft marks a pivotal moment, acting as a beacon of hope and inspiration for aspiring athletes in HBCUs.

Her journey underscores the untapped potential within these institutions and emphasizes the importance of creating more pathways for diverse talent in professional sports.

As she embarks on this new chapter in her career, Williams-Holliday’s legacy as a trailblazer is already firmly etched in WNBA history.

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