WNBA to Hold Virtual Draft in April Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

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The WNBA plans to hold its draft as scheduled on April 17, but the league will conduct it virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league announced players, guests and media will not attend the draft. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert will announce the draft picks live on ESPN2, and the broadcast will include streams with players' from their remote locations.

"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."

The Liberty have the first pick in this year's draft, with the Wings, Fever, Dream and Mercury rounding out the top five.

During the draft, the league will honor Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who died along with Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash in California on Jan. 26. The Lakers great will also be recognized during the draft and the upcoming WNBA season.

As sports remain shut down during the coronavirus outbreak, the WNBA is weighing what to do with its schedule for the approaching season. Training camp is set to start on April 26 before the regular season tips off on May 15. The majority of sports worldwide have been shut down until further notice due to the virus, and the WNBA may be the next league to feel the impact of the outbreak.