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WNBA to hold virtual draft in wake of coronavirus

The WNBA said Thursday it will hold its April 17 draft without players, guests and media because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The league’s draft will be carried live on ESPN at 5 p.m., with commissioner Cathy Engelbert announcing the selections. Top prospects will be remote.

The Aces have one draft pick — 33rd overall — after trading their first- and second-round picks in May for Liz Cambage.

“The WNBA draft is a time to celebrate the exceptional athletes whose hard work and dreams are realized with their selections in the draft,” Engelbert said in a statement. “Safeguarding the health and well-being of our prospects, players, employees, and everyone connected to our game as well as the general public is paramount. With that in mind, we will work diligently with our broadcast partner, ESPN, to create a memorable but virtual event that appropriately honors these accomplished athletes.”

The league also announced that it is continuing to explore different scenarios for the upcoming season based on the virus. Training camps are scheduled to begin April 26, the regular season May 15.

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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