On Monday night Naz Hillmon became the first Michigan women’s basketball player to be drafted since 2005, going No. 15 overall to the Atlanta Dream.
Hillmon was named first-team All-American by the AP this season, and she also broke multiple program records in her impressive individual campaign. Her extensive list of accolades includes four first-team All-Big Ten selections and a Big Ten Player of the Year in 2021.
In Hillmon, the Dream are getting an athletic forward with a nice touch around the rim and a high motor. Hillmon dominated the paint in college, while frequently pulling in rebounds on both ends of the floor. At 6-foot-2, she will be slightly undersized in a WNBA frontcourt, but her athleticism and motor should help her make up for the difference.
Hillmon also showed elite defensive potential in college. While rarely getting the assignment of guarding the other team’s best player, she shut down Villanova’s Maddie Siegrist — who averaged 25.3 points per game — in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32. Hillmon’s combination of size and quickness allowed her to protect the paint, but also hold her own against when switched out to the perimeter.
Providing offense on the perimeter remains a concern with Hillmon. As an undersized forward, her interior presence can only get her so far in the WNBA. If Hillmon can expand her game to the 3-point line or even just secure a more consistent mid-range jumper, it will help her tremendously at the next level.
After a historic career at Michigan, Hillmon has shown she’s more than capable of contributing to the Dream early in her career.