Watch CBS News

Star college lady hoopers draw more attention to WNBA draft

Meet the newest member of the Minnesota Lynx
Meet the newest member of the Minnesota Lynx 02:22

MINNEAPOLIS — Alissa Pili is joining the Lynx as a rookie this upcoming season as the 8th pick on Monday night in the WNBA draft. 

The event drew more attention than ever before. A long line of Lynx fans filled the lobby of the Target Center before the doors opened. More than 500 Lynx season ticket holders came out to watch the draft. 

"It definitely was not this busy last year, and we had the number 2 pick, so I think that everything that's been happening around Caitlin Clark and all the other stars and the attention they've brought, hoping we can capitalize on that and keep going," said Andrew Degerstorm, a Lynx season ticket holder.

WNBA Draft 2024
Cathy Engelbert and Alissa Pili at the WNBA Draft 2024 held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024 in New York City. John Nacion/Sportico via Getty Images

The freshman WNBA rookie class is packed with powerful players with a lot of talent, so there were a lot of teams that walked away with a strong addition to their roster. Lynx fans hope it's enough to bring home a fifth championship. 

Hunter Sargent has tattooed a championship trophy on each of his fingers for each of their title wins.

"I'm leaving #5 open on my thumb and I know we will get it," said Sargent, "I'm hoping with this new group we can accomplish that goal finally."

These season ticket holders say this year's draft feels extra special.

RELATED: Caitlin Clark is No. 1 pick in WNBA draft, going to the Indiana Fever, as expected

"There's more energy and there's more excitement because of everything that Caitlin Clark and others have brought to the game. We're blowing it out of the water now and it's so exciting," said Mary McGowan.

Even the Lynx players feel this shift of energy going into the new season.

"There's been talented people before us that didn't get the opportunities that we have now, so this is all gratitude to their hard work," said Diamond Miller, the 2nd pick in the draft last year for the Lynx.

Miller is excited to be the veteran now welcoming the new additions.

"Whatever it takes to win, so if you're going to help us that's what we need, and we're going to welcome you with open arms," said Miller.

Tickets for the new season are already on sale. The Lynx home opener is Friday, May 17 against the Seattle Storm.

Caitlin Clark's new team, Indiana, will come to the Target Center in July.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.