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Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso and More Talk Their Big Night at the WNBA Draft

“I can’t really script it any better,” Caitlin Clark said of her draft night.

Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso and More Talk Their Big Night at the WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso and More Talk Their Big Night at the WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso and More Talk Their Big Night at the WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso and More Talk Their Big Night at the WNBA Draft

Caitlin Clark, Kamilla Cardoso and More Talk Their Big Night at the WNBA Draft

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Not far from where Dior was holding its pre-fall show at the Brooklyn Museum, crowds of fans lined the block outside of Brooklyn Academy of Music early in the afternoon on Monday in the hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite basketball players. It was a scene more lively than ever before outside the 2024 WNBA draft, as the momentum behind women’s basketball — both collegiate and professional — has reached an all-time high. 

The night’s big star, of course, was Iowa player Caitlin Clark, who would go on to be the number-one pick by the Indiana Fever, and was dressed in head-to-toe Prada to boot. But the orange carpet was ripe with young fashion stars: Cameron Brink opted for a black and white Balmain gown, Angel Reese wowed in a hooded Bronx and Banco dress, Paige Bueckers wore all-white Louis Vuitton and Nika Mühl went for a black Rotate skirt suit. 

After they were drafted, the players made their way up through various media stops inside BAM — most of them having swapped their stage-ready heels for flats. Clark was still in her Prada but had opted for Ugg clogs, while Rickea Jackson had changed into a pair of Dior slides. 

“I feel like Indianapolis is like such a good spot for myself,” Clark said of her new home. “It’s a basketball state — they love basketball through and through, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, but also I think the Fever is a first-class organization that is really trying to get back to their championship ways, and they’re gonna invest. So for myself, I can’t imagine a more perfect place to start my career. And obviously in the Midwest, I have a lot of fans. I can’t really script it any better.”

The Iowa native is familiar with her new hometown of Indianapolis.

“This might sound crazy but I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and [Indianapolis] feels like a bigger Des Moines. It’s a big city, but it’s not overwhelming and that’s perfect for me. That’s exactly how I envisioned my life,” Clark said. 

Her Prada outfit for the night was the first time the Italian brand has dressed a player for either the WNBA or NBA draft. Clark says she is a fan of the brand, though her off-court style is typically a little more laid back. 

“Usually I wear sweatpants and sweatshirts all the time. I’m busy, I play basketball. But other than that, I feel like I’m very simple. I like simple things,” Clark said. “I feel like I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone a little bit [now]. I mean, I’m definitely gonna show up in a Nike Tech fleece here and there.”

Aaliyah Edwards, who was drafted to the Washington Mystics, was excited about getting to live in a big city, following her time at UConn.

“A new city, new environment,” Edwards said. “Back to a city vibe, which I miss.”

The Canadian had opted for a white turtleneck dress with a cutout fringe detail for the night. 

“It was a process but you know, we put it on and we ate with it,” she said. “I wanted more elegance but I wanted to be classy, with a little bit of a pop. That’s me — I’m pretty laid back but when I need to pop out, I’ll pop up.”

She accessorized for the night with a Judith Leiber basketball clutch. 

“Ever since I was a child I had a basketball in my hand, and it got me to where I am today. So why not carry that into the W?”

Brink, the Stanford player who was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks as the second pick, said the night was “honestly, very emotional.” She worked with a stylist to pick her Balmain gown for the night — “it’s on loan, I can’t get it too dirty!” she clarified. 

“I would say my off-court style goes in between masculine and feminine,” Brink said. “A lot of days when I want to be more comfortable it’s cargos, a T-shirt and New Balances 550s and there’s a lot of other days where I want to wear a dress and heels.”

Kamilla Cardoso had been just a tad busy winning the NCAA championship to think too much about the draft.

“And then after we won I was like ‘oh my gosh, the draft is next [week]. I don’t have an outfit,’” she said. “I made some calls. I was like, ‘I just want a suit, let’s go red, it’s my favorite color.’”

Jackson, who will be joining Brink in Los Angeles, said that the city is a perfect fit for her. 

“When I first visited L.A. I said ‘L.A. is like its own little world.’ The vibe, the people, it’s just so different. Honestly, it’s a little bit of me: I’m a homebody, but I’m dramatic, I’m all that, glitz and glam. So I find that it’s the best of both worlds,” Jackson said. “The shopping there’s amazing. The food there’s amazing. The traffic, not so much. That’s the only thing about L.A.”

Jackson was the only player to make an outfit change through the night, opting for a red look on the red carpet and then a silver, sparkly suit once inside.

“I was indecisive between both the fits, and I was like ‘Why not wear both? It’s my draft night, I don’t get another one of these, let’s do it,’” she said.

The Ohio State guard Jacy Sheldon would be moving to Dallas to join the Wings, where she’d never been. 

“I’m excited to get to Dallas and see how they do things there, and getting the chance to learn from these girls, and obviously they have great coaches,” Sheldon said. “Just getting to build those relationships, I’m super excited.”

While some of the other players worked with stylists, Sheldon had gone shopping with her mom and her aunt for the big night. 

“I would have been a disaster without them,” she said. “They helped with my shoes, my bag and the dress.”

Like most of the players, Sheldon said she’s usually dressed casually given her job, but that when given the chance she loves to play with fashion.

“When I do get to dress up I love dressing up, I just don’t get to do it all that much,” she said. 

With their new platform in the WNBA and first step in their professional careers — not to mention the growing interest in women’s sports from the fashion and beauty space — Monday night was likely the first of many fashion moments to come.