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Former Virginia guard Jocelyn Willoughby drafted 10th overall by WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, traded to New York Liberty

One of the most decorated players in Virginia basketball history will start her professional career in the WNBA after four seasons in Charlottesville

<p>Willoughby is the first Cavalier to be drafted into the WNBA since Monica Wright was taken second overall in the 2010 draft.&nbsp;</p>

Willoughby is the first Cavalier to be drafted into the WNBA since Monica Wright was taken second overall in the 2010 draft. 

Jocelyn Willoughby, former women’s basketball guard and team captain, was drafted Friday in the first round of the 2020 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury. She was selected with the 10th overall pick and then immediately traded to the New York Liberty for three-year WNBA veteran Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.

Willoughby is the first Cavalier to be drafted into the WNBA since Monica Wright was taken second overall in the 2010 draft.

Willoughby was a four-year starter at Virginia from 2016 to 2020 and averaged 13.2 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game and 1.35 steals per game during her career. She also shot 39 percent from the three-point arc and 41 percent from the field. 

The native of East Orange, N.J. led the Cavaliers in scoring, free throw shooting, three point shooting, rebounding and minutes in her last season at Virginia.

Willoughby leaves Virginia as one of the most decorated players in program history. Over her collegiate career, she earned multiple selections to the All-ACC Academic Team and was named to the All-ACC First Team in 2020. Willoughby led the ACC in scoring in her last season and was also among the top 25 Division I players in both scoring and free throw shooting.

Willoughby was also an accomplished student and leader at the University. Her off-the-court accomplishments include being a Lawn resident in 2018-19, Citizen Leadership Fellow for the Meriwether Lewis Institute and recipient of the 2019 Raven Award. Willoughby began her master’s degree at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy in 2019 after earning an undergraduate degree in Global Development Studies.

Willoughby’s combination of talent and leadership ability makes her primed for a key role with the New York Liberty this coming season. 

The 2020 WNBA regular season was slated to begin May 15, but has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.

This article has been updated to include Willoughby’s trade to New York Liberty.

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