Last month, Jude Schimmel told ICTMN ‘Why not me?’ hours after she played one of the last games of her college career. She was talking about being the one to step up and help her team win big in the NCAA tournament, which she did.
As the 2015 WNBA draft quickly approaches – it will be held Thursday, April 16, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. – a similar question might be pondered by many Schimmel fans in and out of Indian country: Why not Jude? Why wouldn’t she be drafted?
After all, Jude had a stellar season. By mid-season, she was recording double-doubles and rode that success into March Madness. She made key plays for Louisville in their tournament run, including a clutch play to move the Cardinals into the Sweet 16 after playing cat and mouse with South Florida. In that game, Schimmel posted a team high 13 points in 60-52 win.
"She's the smallest one on the court, but she makes big plays all the time," teammate Shawnta Dyer told The Courier-Journal after the South Florida game. "Jude is always clutch. We have a lot of confidence in her, and she knows it."
And confidence is key on draft day. The website DraftSite.com recently released a 2015 mock draft report listing the new class of pro prospects. Last year, the site predicted that Jude’s sister Shoni would be the 9th pick overall (she was selected 8th overall by the Atlanta Dream). This year, it projects that Jude will be selected late in the third round by the Phoenix Mercury.
After Louisville’s Native American Heritage Night in February, ICTMN asked Schimmel about her draft prospects. “I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but at the same time, I don't really know," she said. "If the opportunity comes up, that's going to be awesome, but at the end of the day, I really have no clue.”