Three Iowa Women’s Basketball Players Drafted to the WNBA


Photo by Sarah Stier

Stephanie Stores posing for a picture after being choose 4th overall to the Washington Mystics

Three Iowa Women’s basketball players were drafted to the WNBA on April 10. Monika Czinano, Ashley Joens and Stephanie Soares brought in the most Iowa WNBA draftees since 2002. 

The WNBA consists of 12 teams and every year 36 players are drafted. On average, around 85 women declare for the draft. To be eligible for the draft, you have to turn 22 in the year of the draft or have/be set to graduate from a four-year university. 

Iowa State Center, Stephanie Stores, was chosen fourth overall in the draft. Soares averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Soares’ season ended in January because of an ASL injury. She was drafted to the Dallas Wings and hopes to play their first game on May 20. 

The 19th overall pick is another player from Iowa State, Ashley Joens. Joens averaged 21 points, almost 10 rebounds and shot 35% from the three-point line. She was drafted alongside her teammate Stephanie Soares to the Dallas Wings. 

“Yeah it means a lot,” Joens said to a reporter at the draft. “Obviously Coach Finnley and the coaching staff at Iowa State did an amazing at preparing us for the next level and now it’s back to work and getting to play at the [Dallas Wings].”

The next draftee was NCAA Runner-Up, University of Iowa Post Monika Czinano. Czinano was selected 26th overall in the draft and was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks. Cziznano had a record-setting career at Iowa and scored the third most points in Iowa Women’s Basketball history. Cziznano was half of the dynamic guard and post duo that led Iowa to the NCAA Championship and led the NCAA in field goal percentage and looks to do big things in L.A.

Hall of Famer Magic Johnson tweeted, “I enjoyed following Monika’s career in the Big Ten. A great post threat, she has the ability to score down low and has a high basketball IQ! Welcome to L.A Monica Czinano!”

The uprise in interest in women’s basketball is unlike anything before. Players like Monika Czinano, Ashley Joens and Stephanie Soares have put Iowa Women’s Basketball on the map. Seeing this many women’s basketball players move onto the pro level has inspired the next generation to dream big. 

The Kennedy Girls Basketball Team tweeted, “The Final Four and Championship games for Women’s College Basketball this year were nothing but great to watch. How awesome is it that SO many people were tuned in, watching, [and] invested in these games? Passionate, Hard Working, Charismatic women!! Let’s keep this rolling!”