ND Women’s Basketball
Jessica Shepard drafted No. 16 overall by Minnesota Lynx
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, April 11, 2019
Irish senior forward Jessica Shepard was selected as the No. 16 overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx. In the absence of Lynx star Maya Moore this season, Shepard could serve as an option to fill her spot.
Shepard spent her first two years of eligibility at Nebraska, where she made a name for herself as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She was the first Nebraska player to earn all-conference honors as a freshman, being named to the First-Team All-Big Ten in 2016 as a freshman and she made Second-Team All-Big Ten as a sophomore. As a sophomore, she nearly averaged a double-double, with 18.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Shepard made the decision to transfer from Nebraska after her sophomore year. She looked at South Carolina and Notre Dame and quickly decided Notre Dame checked all the boxes, deciding she would don an Irish jersey for Muffet McGraw in the fall. She was granted immediate eligibility to play, in part due to the vast number of preseason injuries the squad had already sustained — a number which only grew over the course of the season.
Shepard started 37-of-38 games as a junior. She also tallied 15 double-doubles over the course of the season, which was tied for the second-most in the ACC.
As a senior, Shepard averaged a double-double, with 16.7 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. Shepard also set herself apart from other posts with her strong passing ability. She recorded 126 assists and 54 steals as a senior.
In her two years at Notre Dame, Shepard averaged a 58% field-goal percentage and went 69.4% from the free-throw line.
The 6-foot-4 forward is listed as a forward on the Lynx roster, but can flip between the 4 and the 5 positions. She will also have the opportunity to learn from a number of veterans on the Lynx roster, including 11-year veteran center Sylvia Fowles, eight-year veteran forward Karima Christmas-Kelly and 15-year veteran forward Rebekkah Brunson.
With their first pick of the 2019 WNBA Draft, the Lynx picked UConn senior guard Napheesa Collier with the No. 6 pick overall.