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aces draft

Adam Hunger / AP

Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair, right, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, left, after being selected 16th overall by the Las Vegas Aces during the second round of the WNBA basketball draft on Monday, April 15, 2024, in New York.

The Las Vegas Aces have their eyes on a championship three-peat, and they added some reinforcements on Monday by selecting four players in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

Las Vegas entered the draft with four picks — three second-rounders (Nos. 16, 18 and 24 overall) and a third-round selection (No. 36). As expected, former Iowa star Caitlin Clark was the No. 1 overall pick by the Indiana Fever. Clark led the Hawkeyes to consecutive NCAA Tournament finals and became one of the most popular players in women’s basketball history, with record-setting ratings to prove it.

The Aces used their first pick, No. 16 overall, to add Dyaisha Fair, a 5-foot-5 guard from Syracuse. Fair scored 22.3 points per game as a fifth-year senior at Syracuse, shooting 39.2% from the field and 37.7% from 3-point range.

Two picks later, Las Vegas nabbed Kate Martin, one of Clark’s key running mates at Iowa. Martin, a 6-foot guard, posted 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds as a senior. She averaged 14.0 points in the NCAA Tournament, including a 21-point performance in Iowa’s stirring victory over LSU in the Elite Eight.

With the final pick in the second round, the Aces went big by selecting Virginia Tech center Elizabeth Kitley. Though an ACL injury sidelined her at the end of the season, Kitley finished her career as the ACC’s all-time leader in points (2,709) and rebounds (1,506).

At No. 36, the Aces closed out the draft by taking Angel Jackson, a forward from Jackson State University.

The next step for the rookies will be training camp, which opens on April 28. Making the cut is no guarantee; the Aces made one pick in the 2023 draft, selecting Alabama guard Brittany Davis at the end of Round 3 (No. 36 overall). Davis was cut before the start of the regular season.

The barrier for entry will be high once again for the two-time defending champion Aces, who count three former No. 1 overall picks among their starting lineup — including the reigning league MVP, sixth-year forward A’ja Wilson. In two years under head coach Becky Hammon, Las Vegas has gone a combined 60-16 in the regular season, and in 2023 they racked up an 8-1 record in the postseason while rolling to title No. 2.

The Aces open the 2024 season with a home game against the Phoenix Mercury on May 14. The team’s May 25 game against the Indiana Fever was moved to T-Mobile Arena to accommodate the increased interest generated by Clark.

UNLV star forward Desi-Rae Young went undrafted. In four years, Young led the Scarlet and Gray to three straight Mountain West titles and three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. She was named MWC Player of the Year twice (2021-22, 2023-24) and posted 18.3 points and 9.1 rebounds this season.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun