ESPN Preps for Telecast of Virtual 2020 WNBA Draft

The WNBA Draft Presented by State Farm will air live on ESPN, Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m. ET, as the pinnacle event of ESPN’s week-long, multi-platform league coverage. Leading into the draft, coverage will include WNBA guests on the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter, classic programming, multiple features on, social activations and special editions of the Around the Rim podcast. Immediately following the draft, ESPN will present an encore presentation of the 2019 WNBA Finals Game 5 between the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun.

The 2020 WNBA Draft telecast – originally scheduled to be on-site in New York City – will now originate in-part from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios, with all operations adhering to proper social distancing. Ryan Ruocco will host ESPN’s studio coverage from Bristol with analyst and Hall of Famer Rebecca Lobo and current WNBA star and women’s college basketball analyst Sue Bird. Holly Rowe will join the coverage remotely to contribute storytelling and insider information from her time covering women’s college basketball and the WNBA.

The WNBA Draft will be conducted virtually with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert announcing the picks from a remote location. In coordination with the WNBA, numerous first-round picks are slated join the ESPN telecast via remote set-ups. The entire WNBA Draft will last three rounds and is expected to take approximately two hours.

During the draft, the WNBA will honor Alyssa Altobelli, Gianna Bryant, and Payton Chester – who tragically passed away in a helicopter accident on Jan. 26. The WNBA also plans to honor the late Kobe Bryant, a passionate advocate of the league, at the draft and during the upcoming season. Covers Every Angle
The night of the draft, will have multiple immediate reaction pieces that include:

  • WNBA DraftCast: Round-by-round picks, WNBA Draft prospect rankings, player position rankings, team-by-team needs and pre-draft and post pick analysis on every player.
  • WNBA Draft Grades: Which teams were the winners and losers of the draft? With all three rounds in the books, each team’s draft class will be assigned a grade.
  • WNBA Social Reactions: We round up the best posts on Twitter and Instagram beginning shortly after the first pick.

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