It’s a very weird time to hold a professional sports draft, but nobody is going to come close to the WNBA when it comes time to make sure the night is special for players.
In an unprecedented year, the @WNBA is innovating to make the players feel special and connected with Commissioner @CathyEngelbert This is NEXT level WELCOME package. The players also received all 12 team hats so they will be ready when they are selected! SO CREATIVE. pic.twitter.com/7kjXd9nWwY— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) April 17, 2020
This package, delivered to lock No. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu, highlights just how far the league went to make the at-home experience feel like being there live. Every team hat is in the package, so the player can obviously put one on after being drafted — but it’s more than that. Shirts, the keys to the league, all really cool swag. It’s that simply Snapchat code that really makes this feel special.
Each player is getting a unique code, which takes them to a personally recorded message from WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert. It’s not going to completely replicate what it’s like for a player to be present for the draft, but it’s a level of thoughtfulness that takes the package a step above.
Honestly, it’s probably going to be a pretty sobering few months for players who worked for so long to finally make it to the pros, only to have their night taken away by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s not that drafts themselves are some kind of critical event that have to be cherished, but it is a rite of passage for prospective pro players.
The WNBA just made a difficult situation as memorable as possible, and this is awesome.