Dallas Wings Draft Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon with No. 5 Overall Pick in 2024 WNBA Draft

By Dan Hope on April 15, 2024 at 8:08 pm
Jacy Sheldon and WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert
Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

Jacy Sheldon is officially WNBA-bound.

The Dallas Wings selected the former Ohio State women’s basketball star with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA draft on Monday, making Sheldon the first Buckeye selected in the first round of the draft since the Indiana Fever selected Kelsey Mitchell with the No. 2 pick in 2018.

Sheldon is Ohio State’s fifth top-five WNBA draft pick all-time. She’s the first Buckeye ever drafted by the Dallas Wings.

“It's a surreal moment because I grew up as a little kid watching all these women play and how talented they are and being able to have a chance to play with them and compete against them, it's a dream,” Sheldon said after being drafted.

Sheldon was the first of two Buckeyes selected in the 2024 WNBA draft along with Celeste Taylor, who the Indiana Fever drafted with the 15th overall pick in the second round.

Ohio State’s All-Time WNBA Draft Picks
Year Round Pick Team Player
2024 1 5 Dallas Wings Jacy Sheldon
2024 2 15 Indiana Fever Celeste Taylor
2023 2 13 Indiana Fever Taylor Mikesell
2018 1 2 Indiana Fever Kelsey Mitchell
2018 2 14 Indiana Fever Stephanie Mavunga
2017 2 13 Connecticut Sun Shayla Cooper
2016 2 24 New York Liberty Ameryst Alston
2013 1 4 Washington Mystics Tayler Hill
2012 1 6 Phoenix Mercury Samantha Prahalis
2011 1 5 Los Angeles Sparks Jantel Lavender
2008 3 41 Phoenix Mercury Marscilla Packer
2007 1 2 San Antonio Silver Stars Jessica Davenport
2007 3 33 Seattle Storm Brandie Hoskins
2006 2 28 Connecticut Sun Debbie Merrill
2003 2 13 Connecticut Sun Courtney Coleman
2002 4 55 Orlando Miracle Tomeka Brown
2001 3 41 Washington Mystics Jamie Lewis
1999 Player Allocation   Minnesota Lynx Katie Smith
1998 Expansion Draft 8 Cleveland Rockers Adrienne Johnson

Sheldon became one of the top prospects in the WNBA draft based on an excellent five-year career at Ohio State in which she earned first-team All-Big Ten honors twice. Sheldon averaged 15.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game across her five years as a Buckeye, leading Ohio State to two Big Ten regular-season championships over the past three years and capping off her career by earning second-team AP All-American honors in 2023-24.

“We felt like perimeter play was a priority for us, in particular being able to knock down the three-point shot. ... We wanted to get a little bit bigger at the guard position and we wanted to get better at defending on the perimeter. I think when you kind of look at those boxes that we were trying to check, Jacy Sheldon was the best player to address the most of those needs for us,” Wings president Greg Bibb said after the draft. “She was someone that we had been targeting for a long time. We felt very fortunate to have her available to us at the fifth overall pick.”

Sheldon, who could have entered the WNBA draft a year ago but used the extra year of eligibility all players received during the COVID-19 pandemic to return to Ohio State for one more season, says her career at OSU was an experience she’ll never forget.

“Ohio State is near and dear to my heart forever. I'm a Buckeye fan for life,” Sheldon said last week. “This place has done so much for me. I hope I did a little bit for the university as well.”

Ranked as the No. 42 overall prospect in the 2019 recruiting class by ESPN, Sheldon blossomed to become one of the best players in women’s college basketball and a first-round WNBA draft pick, which Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff sees as a testament to her work ethic.

“She came in and she was, I think, better than most people thought she'd be as a freshman, just because of her competitive character and her skill. But every year she got better. And it's just not by accident. She works extremely hard,” McGuff said during an interview session last week. “And then you talk about how she's impacted us off the court and in the community and it's just really immeasurable. And so it's been an absolute joy to coach her. We're going to miss her. I'm gonna miss coaching her. She's made my life easier for five years.”

Now, Sheldon sets her sights on achieving more success at the professional ranks. She knows that won’t come easily, but she’s excited for the challenge.

“It's the hardest professional roster to make,” Sheldon said of playing in the WNBA. “But I think for me just staying confident and going in and being ready to learn and listen. I'm a rookie going in with a bunch of veterans, and they know that too, so I think just taking in what they have to say. But taking my game with me, and I'm excited for it. And I'm excited to get to know these girls and get to play with these girls.”

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