The Chicago Sky drafted a duo of powerhouse players in the 2024 WNBA Draft on Monday that caught the attention of basketball royalty. The Windy City’s WNBA franchise selected towering center Kamilla Cardoso from the national champions South Carolina with the third overall pick and enlisted the talents of LSU forward Angel Reese at the seventh spot. The buzz around these selections was amplified when none other than Dwyane Wade, the NBA champion with deep Chicago roots, voiced his approval on social media.

Wade, who has been a steadfast supporter of the growth of basketball across all fronts, extended his congratulations on X, formerly Twitter. “The National Champion, @KamillascSilva at pick 3! Look forward to following your career in Sky Town! Let’s go to work @chicagosky Congrats! #WNBADraft.” In a subsequent post, he said, “The foundation is set. Welcome Kamilla Cardoso x Angel Reese @chicagosky @WNBA,”

Kamilla Cardoso, Angel Reese bring impressive college records to the big leagues

Kamilla Cardoso reacts after she is selected with the number three overall pick to the Chicago Sky in the 2024 WNBA Draft.
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The selection of Cardoso, a 6-foot-7 center, came after her standout role in South Carolina's championship win. Averaging 14.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in her pivotal season, Cardoso demonstrated she could fill the void left by Aliyah Boston's move to the WNBA. Her performances in the NCAA Tournament were particularly impressive. She posted 10.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in five NCAA Tournament games (h/t Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune), cementing her status as a defensive force capable of immediate impact at the professional level.

Angel Reese joins Cardoso with an equally impressive college record and a dynamic personality that’s already made waves in women’s basketball. Reese, a 6-foot-3 forward who played a central role in LSU’s championship triumph, adds a formidable rebounding presence and scoring prowess, with an 18.6 point and 13.4 rebound average in her senior season. She is also well-known off the court, with a substantial social media following that underscores her influence and marketability in the sport.

The Sky’s acquisition of these two talents reflects a strategic pivot in team-building philosophy, following a trade with the Phoenix Mercury for the third pick, signaling a refresh in their approach under the leadership of general manager Jeff Pagliocca and coach Teresa Weatherspoon. They have parted ways with several key players from previous seasons, setting the stage for a roster centered around youth and potential, as evidenced by their active draft dealings which included a swap with the Minnesota Lynx to secure Reese’s selection.

This reshaping comes after a season where the Sky went 18-22, indicating a readiness to revitalize the franchise. As Wade’s tweets suggest, there is an atmosphere of renewed vigor and anticipation around the Sky, with Cardoso and Reese poised to be central figures in this reboot. The stage is set for the team to make a statement in the league when they begin their 2024 campaign on May 15 against the Dallas Wings, and the city's excitement is palpable, perhaps none more so than in the endorsement from Dwyane Wade.