Iowa’s Monika Czinano is Headed West Following the WNBA Draft
The Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball team became nationally relevant as they went all the way to the Women's National Championship game. Iowa might've lost to LSU, but no matter how you slice it, the season was a great big W for the Iowa Hawkeyes and women's basketball in general.
With the 2023 WNBA Draft taking place this week, three Iowa Hawkeyes went pro. The most notable was Monika Czinano, who eclipsed 2,000 points and helped lead the Iowa women to their first national championship game appearance, was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks in the third round on April 10th, 2023.
Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers legend and part-owner of the Sparks, took to Twitter to show Czinano some love after she was drafted 26th overall. Now, she'll get a chance to play for a team that is looking for a fresh start under new head coach Curt Miller, who served as head coach of the Connecticut Sun from 2016 to 2022.
The Watertown, MN native is a four-time Big Ten All-First Team selection, as well as Iowa's leader in games played (150), field goal percentage (67%), ranks second all-time in field goals (952), and third all-time in points (2,224), per Hawk Central. Her and Caitlin Clark made a dynamic duo as they surpassed 2,000 career points this past season, the first of their kind in Big Ten women's basketball history.
In addition to Czinano, two other Iowa women heard their name called in the 2023 WNBA Draft. Iowa State's Stephanie Soares went fourth overall to the Dallas Wings, where she'll be reunited with Ashley Joens, who was also selected by Dallas with the 19th pick.
Czinano capped off her final year as a Hawkeye strong, with an average of 17.1 points per game, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists.
The Hawkeye women will be in search for a new crop of young athletes to put them in position to finally claim the championship title. With Caitlin Clark still in the lineup, however, anything is possible.