Making a WNBA roster isn’t easy – even for a first-round pick.
On Monday, former Colorado star Mya Hollingshed was waived by the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, less than three weeks after she was the No. 8 overall selection in the draft.
Las Vegas, which opens its season on Friday at Phoenix, also waived LSU guard Khayla Pointer, who was the No. 13 overall pick — the first spot in the second round.
On Sunday night, in the Aces’ lone exhibition game, Hollingshed had five points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal on 2-for-5 shooting (1-for-4 from 3-point range) in 21 minutes against the Minnesota Lynx.
Last month, prior to the April 12 draft, NBASports.com had an article about the harsh reality of the WNBA, reporting that on average 13 of the 36 draft picks the past five years were waived before the season opener. In 2021, 16 of the 36 were waived before the first game and six more were waived early in the season.
Hollingshed appeared to be in good shape to make the Aces’ roster, however.
Prior to the draft, Aces general manager Natalie Williams, who was hired four days before the draft, traded next year’s first and second-round picks to Minnesota to get the No. 8 and 13 selections this year.
The night of the draft, Williams told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the Aces had considered a wing player at No. 8, but ultimately didn’t want to gamble on Hollingshed not being available when they picked at No. 11.
Aces first-year head coach Becky Hammon said last month, “We feel like Mya had a tremendous upside, very high ceiling. We love the way she shot the ball in college. … We feel like we have a good system in place for her to learn and definitely have an eye towards her development over the years for sure to make sure she gets to the spots and gets the work and the attention that she needs to be the type of player she wants to be and that we think she can be.”
Getting waived now doesn’t mean Hollingshed won’t get another chance, but for now her WNBA dream is on hold.
This past season, Hollingshed helped CU (22-9) end a nine-year NCAA Tournament drought. She first-team All-Pac-12 and honorable mention All-American for the second year in a row. She was also the only player in the Pac-12 to lead her team in scoring (14.1 per game), rebounding (7.4 per game) and 3-point shooting (.396, 53-of-134).