Atlanta Dream Select Italian Guard Matilde Villa in 2024 WNBA Draft

The Atlanta Dream selects Italian guard Matilde Villa in the 2024 WNBA Draft, part of the team's shift to international prospects. The move reflects a growing trend in the league as teams seek global talent to build for the future.

Quadri Adejumo
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Atlanta Dream Select Italian Guard Matilde Villa in 2024 WNBA Draft

Atlanta Dream Select Italian Guard Matilde Villa in 2024 WNBA Draft

The Atlanta Dream selected Matilde Villa, a 19-year-old guard from Italy, with the 32nd overall pick in the third round of the 2024 WNBA Draft . Villa, who stands at 5'7", averaged 10 points, 3 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game in the Serie A1 league and has played for the Italian Senior Basketball team.

Villa is one of the brightest talents in Italian women's basketball, having played as a starting point guard for Reyer Venezia in the past two seasons. She is the fourth Italian player to be drafted by a WNBA team, following Catarina Pollini, Kathrin Ress, and Lorela Cubaj. Villa expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity to play in the WNBA and hopes to carve out an important role for herself in the league.

The Dream made a significant shift in the 2024 WNBA Draft, selecting all international prospects for the first time in franchise history. In addition to Villa, they used their first pick at No. 12 to select Australian forward Nyadiew Puoch, followed by the selection of fellow Australian guard Isobel Borlase at No. 20.

Atlanta Dream's general manager Dan Padover expressed enthusiasm about adding these young, talented players to the team and their potential for growth in the future. While these players will not join the team in the 2024 season, the Dream sees them as talented prospects who can develop their game and potentially become important parts of the team down the line.

The Dream already has a strong core group of players, including two-time All-Star Rhyne Howard, All-Star Allisha Gray, and All-Star Cheyenne Parker. With limited roster spots available, the team focused on drafting international prospects who can grow and potentially contribute in the future. Padover emphasized the importance of acquiring the best talent and building for the future, noting that having the draft rights to these international prospects can expand the team's trade possibilities.

The Atlanta Dream's decision to select all international prospects in the 2024 WNBA Draft reflects a growing trend of teams looking beyond the United States for talent. By investing in young, promising players like Matilde Villa, the Dream is positioning itself for long-term success and expanding its global reach.

The 2024 WNBA Draft saw a diverse group of talented players from around the world selected by various teams . Caitlin Clark, who had a historic college career at Iowa, was the first overall pick by the Indiana Fever. Other notable picks included Cameron Brink of Stanford, selected by the Los Angeles Sparks, and Kamilla Cardoso of South Carolina, chosen by the Chicago Sky. The Fever, Sparks, and Sky are all looking to these new talents to help improve their teams' performances after mixed seasons in 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • Atlanta Dream drafted Italian guard Matilde Villa with 32nd pick in 2024 WNBA Draft.
  • Dream selected all international prospects for the first time, including Australians Nyadiew Puoch and Isobel Borlase.
  • Dream GM Dan Padover sees these international prospects as talented players who can develop and contribute in the future.
  • 2024 WNBA Draft saw diverse global talent, with Caitlin Clark as the no. 1 overall pick by Indiana Fever.
  • Teams like Fever, Sparks, and Sky drafted new talents to improve their 2023 season performances.