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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nevada native Gabby Williams of UConn weighs in on WNBA coming to Las Vegas

There aren't an abundance of women's professional basketball players coming out of the state of Nevada so when rumors began to circulate about the San Antonio Stars relocating to Las Vegas, there was more than one social media post suggesting that UConn senior and Nevada native Gabby Williams would be jumping for joy at this news.

Well, I caught up with Williams at yesterday's American Athletic Conference basketball media day and she chuckled at her potential "homecoming" if the team did indeed land in Vegas.

Earlier today, the WNBA confirmed the rumors with a release that the San Antonio franchise will play at the Mandalay Bay Events Center beginning with the 2018 season.

"It's pretty far for me like eight hours so it is not really home," Williams said. "I was kind of sad because I heard their were rumors that they were moving to the Bay Area or Sacramento."

Sacramento is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Williams' hometown of Sparks, Nevada while Las Vegas is only slightly closer to her home than Los Angeles is.

"It is exciting because it is closer than any other team," Williams said.

I won't claim to have a tremendous amount of knowledge about the top girls basketball products to come out of Nevada. Former North Carolina star Italee Lucas was a second round pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft while Ashley Gayle was in camp with the Seattle Storm in 2012. Perhaps there are others but I asked Williams about the level of interest in girls and women's basketball in the state of Nevada.

"Basketball is not really that big in Nevada as far as women's basketball so hopefully having a WNBA team there will hopefully grow the popularity of it and hopefully encourage some of the younger girls in Nevada to start playing basketball," Williams said.

Speaking of the 2018 WNBA Draft, don't look for Napheesa Collier's name to be among the draft prospects.

Collier would be eligible for the draft since she turns 22 in 2018 however when I spoke to her on Monday in Philadelphia, she made it clear that she indeeds on playing all four seasons with the Huskies.

"I want to be here as long as I can and learn as much as I can from the coaches so I am not thinking about it," Collier said.



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