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  1. #1

    Default The Athletic: Kenisha Bell's WNBA Aspirations

    Sloane Martin:

    Before​ University​ of​ Minnesota guard Kenisha Bell​ knew​ Lindsay​ Whalen would be​ her​ next​ head​ coach, the​ two​ point​ guards​ faced​​ off against each other at Gopher practices. Last season Whalen and fellow program alum Rachel Banham occasionally suited up on the practice team, giving the young Gophers a chance to see what the stars of the next level look like up close.

    The senior demurred when asked if — or how much — she scored on Whalen, who was preparing for her final season with the Minnesota Lynx at the time. Turns out that staring down a WNBA player one-on-one was exactly the kind of experience Bell needed. This season she will be embarking on a path with hopes to be selected in the WNBA draft — with even more up-close tutelage from the four-time WNBA champion along the way.


    There’s no security of a roster spot in the WNBA, even for first-round picks. There are 12 spots per team for the most elite basketball players in the world. If players follow the leads of Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird, who have maintained elite production in their late 30s, even fewer spots will be available for college seniors and other draft-eligible players.

    First-round picks in the NBA receive guaranteed two-year contracts; first round WNBA draftees might not have a job in the league a few weeks later. Tori Jankoska, for instance, was the No. 9 pick out of Michigan State in 2017 but was waived by the Chicago Sky after not playing in their season opener.


    A graduate of Bloomington Kennedy, Bell transferred from Marquette after her freshman year. The third head coach of Bell’s college career, Whalen sharing some of the same experiences at the same position has made Bell eager for her senior year.

    “She made it easier for me to actually want to stay just because I know what she’s accomplished throughout her years and I thought it was pretty cool that she thought she should give back to what she already had,” Bell said.

  2. #2


    I wonder what context she meant with “made it easier for me to actually want to stay”.
    Last edited by Shades; 11-21-2018 at 04:04 PM.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    I wonder context she meant with “made it easier for me to actually want to stay”.
    I'm certain Kenisha's referencing the coaching change.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius L Hoops View Post
    I'm certain Kenisha's referencing the coaching change.
    She was shook up over Stollings leaving?

  5. #5


    Well she does prefer offense .

  6. #6


    Texas Tech hired Stollings on April 9, 2018. It was too late for Bell to declare for the draft (could have gone to Minnesota last year), so Stollings kinda left Bell hanging with not a lot of great choices.
    Unless she graduated, she wouldn’t have qualified for a no-wait grad transfer to another school.

  7. #7


    ESPN mock draft:

    22. Dallas; Kenisha Bell, Minnesota, 5-9, guard

  8. #8


    Not a bad placement if Minnesota keeps all their picks. The way she’s been playing, I’m pretty skeptical about her making the cut.

  9. #9


    Unless she can step up in the second half of the Big season I agree she will have a tough time making a team. Her TO's, forcing her offense and lack of leadership have been surprising this year. That said she has skills and I hope she can get hot fast !

  10. #10


    Oops, my bad. Minnesota has picks #16, #18, and #20.
    If Minnesota keeps all those picks, I would think Minnesota would burn one on Bell. But maybe it would be in her best interest to go to a team that is thin at guard.

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