The Daily Gamecock

Welch invited to WNBA draft


2015 has already been a good year for Aleighsa Welch, and now it has a chance to become even better.

The Goose Creek, South Carolina native who helped lead the Gamecocks to the program’s first ever Final Four appearance in the NCAA tournament during her senior year is now just days away from earning a chance to play professionally.

When the 2015 WNBA Draft takes place on Thursday, many expect Welch to become the first Gamecock to get drafted since 2003.

Additionally, Welch is one of only 12 prospects to earn the privilege of receiving an invitation to the draft, which is held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Welch was a member of head coach Dawn Staley’s 2011 recruiting class and was a freshman when the Gamecocks reached the NCAA tournament for the first time under Staley.

Capped off by an impressive senior season, Welch finished her career having earned AP All-America honorable mention honors twice, while also cementing herself as the top career offensive rebounder in South Carolina history.

Welch, who developed a reputation as South Carolina’s most vocal leader, is projected to be picked 13th overall by, while a mock draft by has the 6-footer going eighth overall by the Washington Mystics.

Regardless of where Welch ends up, she’ll be the first player of the Dawn Staley Era to be drafted if she hears her name called Thursday night.


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