Senior forward Naz Hillmon entered the 2022 WNBA Draft pool on Thursday, opting not to use her extra year granted by the NCAA in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am humbled to announce that I have entered my name into the WNBA Draft,” Hillmon posted to Twitter. “I am forever thankful for the opportunities that I have had, the people that I have met and the lifelong experience that Michigan has afforded to me. Forever go Blue!”
Hillmon is leaving Michigan as the most decorated player in program history. She is the programs all-time leader in double-doubles and rebounds, won Big Ten Player of the Year honors in 2020-21, was named to the all-Big Ten first-team in each of her four years and, most recently, was named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press for the 2021-22 season. Hillmon is the only Wolverine, either woman or man, to finish her career with over 2000 points and 1000 rebounds.
Hillmon finished her senior year averaging 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Her dominance on the interior shines on the offensive glass and in the paint. Hillmon’s combination of size, speed and strength has allowed her to thrive on both ends at the college level.
There are concerns with how Hillmon’s skill-set will transfer to the WNBA, though. As she begins facing bigger and more athletic forwards, she could have a harder time producing near the rim. As an undersized forward, her inability to stretch the floor raises concern.
In spite of these few critiques, Hillmon is projected to be selected in the mid-to-late first round. She will almost certainly be the first player from the University of Michigan to be selected in the WNBA Draft since 2005. If selected in the first round, Hillmon will become the first player in program history to do so — setting one final record for the Wolverines.