Photo by Rob Edwards / KLC Photos
Cal Basketball

Anigwe Drafted By Connecticut With Ninth Overall Pick In WNBA Draft

April 10, 2019

NEW YORK – Add “WNBA Top-10 Draft Pick” to the laundry list of accolades for Kristine Anigwe. Just days after being named the 2019 Naismith National Defensive Player of the Year, Anigwe was one of 12 players invited to the WNBA Draft, held at the Nike Headquarters in New York City. Anigwe did not have to wait long to hear her named called, drafted by the Connecticut Sun with the ninth overall pick, tying Brittany Boyd and Layshia Clarendon for the highest draft picks in program history. Anigwe becomes the eighth player in Cal women's basketball history to be taken in the WNBA Draft and the Bears' sixth in the last seven seasons. 

The full results from the 2019 WNBA Draft can be found here. 

The first four-time All-American in Cal women’s basketball history, Anigwe was named the Naimsith National Defensive Player of the Year after a remarkable senior season in which she led the nation in rebounding at 16.2 rebounds per game and tallied more total rebounds than any other player –male or female – in NCAA basketball this season, spanning Divisions I through III. The 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and a four-time All-Pac-12 selection, Anigwe also proved to be an unstoppable force on the offensive end of the floor, ranking ninth in the nation in scoring at 22.5 points per game despite drawing double- and triple-teams nearly every night. 

The all-time leading scorer, rebounder, and shot-blocker in Cal women’s basketball history, Anigwe will be teaming up with another Golden Bear great in Clarendon, who was traded to the Sun midway through the 2018 season. Clarendon was named a WNBA All-Star in 2017 and a gold medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA World Championships this past summer. The Sun’s roster also features former Stanford standout Chiney Ogwumike, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft.

“I am excited and I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” Anigwe said. “It will definitely be an adjustment, but going to a place that I know believes in me and with coaches that I know believe in me will make it easier. I see myself just becoming a better person on the court and off the court, and just growing with great leadership from players like Chiney and Layshia, and the rest of my future teammates. I’m really excited. I’ve never been on a team like this before where I know some of the players going in and that’s a blessing. You can look at young players from the last few years and the way that they’ve really been embraced by the veterans and been able to succeed. Going into a league and into a team that really embodies the idea of women backing women is really exciting and really cool.” 

A 6’4” center/forward, Anigwe finished the 2018-19 season averaging 22.5 points per game and 16.2 rebounds per game on the season, the first Division I women’s player in 30 years to average over 22 points per game and 16 rebounds per game over the course of the season. Only two other women in the 38 seasons of Division I women’s basketball  -  Patricia Hoskins (1986-87, 1988- 89) and Wanda Ford (1984-85, 1985-86) – have averaged as many points and rebounds per game in a single season as Anigwe did to close out her Cal career. 

Anigwe also proved to be the model of consistency, posting a double-double in 32 of her 33 games this season. Anigwe had a streak of 33 consecutive double-doubles from her final game of the 2017-18 campaign through Cal’s win over North Carolina in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, tied for the second-longest double-double streak in Division I women’s basketball history. Former Oklahoma standout and Piedmont-native Courtney Paris is the only player with more double-doubles in a row than Anigwe. 

A finalist for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award as the top center in the nation, Anigwe closes her time in Berkeley as Cal’s all-time leader in career points (2,591 points), rebounding (1,404 rebounds), and blocked shots (205 blocks). She ranks third in Pac-12 history in career rebounds and fourth in career scoring, joining Chiney Ogwumike as the only player in conference history in the top five in both categories. 

Anigwe and the Sun begin training camp on May 5 before opening the regular season at home on May 25 against the Washington Mystics. Led by 2017 WNBA Coach of the Year Curt Miller, Connecticut went 21-13 last season, before losing to the Phoenix Mercury in the Second Round of the WNBA Playoffs. 

“[Kristine is] one of the elite rebounders in the game of basketball,” Miller said. “[She’s] a physical presence. We’re really, really excited. It couldn’t be a better scenario for us.”

For more information and updates on the Golden Bears throughout the season, follow the team on Twitter (@CalWBball), Instagram (@CalWBball) and Facebook (

Cal All-Time WNBA Draft Picks


Kristine Anigwe Round 1 (9), Connecticut Sun


Mikayla Cowling Round 3 (33), Connecticut Sun


Brittany Boyd Round 1 (9), New York Liberty


Reshanda Gray, Round 2 (16), Minnesota Lynx


Gennifer Brandon, Round 2 (22), Chicago Sky


Layshia Clarendon, Round 1 (9), Indiana Fever


Alexis Gray-Lawson, Round 3 (30), Washington Mystics


Ashley Walker, Round 1 (12), Seattle Storm

Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.