The Chicago Sky drafted Gabby Williams at No. 4 overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft. Williams was the Connecticut Huskies do-it-all guard/forward for the last four seasons, and is also the most gifted athlete in the 2018 WNBA Draft. Williams is a player you can’t analyze purely by the numbers, because some of her best games aren’t seen that way on the stat sheet. She fills a glue role as an incredibly versatile defender and all-around player not defined for being GREAT at any one thing just yet.
At 11 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, Williams may have the most diverse numbers of any top pick. Most will still agree that she was the best player on the best college basketball team in the country, and that carries weight.
Why should Sky fans be excited about Williams?
The UConn star’s best days are still ahead of her, and she holds intangibles that can’t be taught.
yooo watch gabby williams knock this ball loose then finish the layup on the other end without a dribble pic.twitter.com/6PcCRe2N4H— Whitney Medworth (@its_whitney) March 26, 2018
There aren’t many players who can one-hand grab rebounds as ferociously, or push her way down court in as few dribbles. Williams is a once-a-decade type of athlete, and she’ll be able to defend multiple positions right away.
How coaches view Williams’ game
Bill Laimbeer, Las Vegas Aces
All you have to do is look at Alyssa Thomas from Connecticut and how she’s improved her game over the years,” Las Vegas Aces head coach and general manager Bill Laimbeer said in a conference call. “I think Gabby Williams fits that mold. She’ll teach herself some perimeter shooting. You watched her in the playoffs, she made some really big foul line jump shots. She’ll get better and better especially if they get a coach and an individual to work with her. I think she’ll be a solid player for a long time in the WNBA.”
Pokey Chatman, Indiana Fever
“We’ve taken into account how important ... heart is on the court,” Indiana Fever head coach Pokey Chatman said in a conference call. “Half the game is also played on the defensive end. Those are two valuable assets that she brings regardless of her ability to hit a three or nail a free-throw line jumper.”
Should fans be nervous about Williams?
Her lack of shooting is worrisome, especially as the WNBA is going a similar three-point shooting revolution as the NBA. She shot 1-of-12 from range in her entire UConn career, and only shot free throws at 71 percent last season, so she’ll need to improve her form. That’ll take time.
But Williams is so good on the other end of the floor, and as a rebounder and playmaker that she won’t just be a project. She’s ready to go now.