The Chicago Sky selected guard Diamond DeShields and forward Gabby Williams with the third and fourth overall picks in the 2018 WNBA Draft Thursday, which was held at the Nike New York Headquarters. DePaul guard and Bolingbrook, Illinois native Amarah Coleman was also picked up by the team in the third round of the draft with the 28th overall selection.
DeShields, 23, spent her freshman year playing at North Carolina, where she earned multiple National Freshman of the Year honors, before transferring to Tennessee. In 2016-17, DeShields was an All-SEC First Team selection after averaging 17.3 points, the most at Tennessee since two-time WNBA MVP All-Star Candace Parker in 2007-08.
After two seasons with the Lady Vols and graduating in the spring of 2017, DeShields renounced her NCAA eligibility for the remainder of the season to play professionally with Turkey’s Cukurova.
Standing at 6-foot-1, DeShields comes from a family of elite athletes. Her father, Delino DeShields, played 13 MLB seasons with the Expos, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles, and the Chicago Cubs.
A native of West Palm Beach, Florida, DeShields also has two brothers, MLB Texas Rangers center-fielder Delino Jr., and D’Angelo, as well as two sisters, Denim and Delaney. DeShields’ mother, Tisha, was an All-America at UT in the heptathlon (1991).
“Diamond impacts the game on both sides of the ball,” Sky General Manager and Head Coach Amber Stocks said. “Defensively, her athleticism allows her to contain the ball, anticipate, and rotate effectively. Offensively, Diamond’s a rare talent. She is intuitive, focused, determined, and a hard worker. I’ve gotten to know Diamond over the past couple of months and she’s a joy to be around. She will be an incredible addition to the team.”
Following DeShields’ selection, the Sky picked Connecticut forward Gabby Williams.
Williams, 22, finished her collegiate playing career with the UConn Huskies as a two-time NCAA national champion, a two-time WBCA All-American, and an eight-time conference champion.
In her senior season, Williams became the first-ever Cheryl Miller Award winner when she was named the nation’s best small forward. She also earned All-America Second Team and All-AAC First Team honors, and was a semifinalist for the Wooden and Naismith awards as the nation’s top player.
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas notably said he believed the 5-foot-11 inch Sparks, Nevada native to be among the toughest and “most complete” players in the nation in 2017.
“Gabby has the court awareness of [Courtney] Vandersloot, the grit of Stefanie Dolson, and the athleticism of Kahleah [Copper] and Allie [Quigley],” Stocks said. “She will help with our rebounding, our defensive efficiency, and fit perfectly with our offensive system.”
The Sky’s third-round and final draft pick was used to select Amarah Coleman out of DePaul.
A 5-foot-11 inch graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Coleman played her freshman season at Illinois before transferring to DePaul. In her senior year with the Blue Demons, Coleman was named Most Outstanding Player of Big East Tournament, scoring a career-high 27 points in a title game win over Marquette.
The Chicago Sky tips off the 2018 season on the road against the Indiana Fever on May 19 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, before hosting the New York Liberty for an event-filled home opener at Wintrust Arena on May 20.