NEW YORK — From a state champ in high school at Lincoln Southeast to a national champ at Notre Dame, Nebraska native Jessica Shepard is now a WNBA draft pick.
Shepard, who finished her high school career at Fremont, was selected in the second round — No. 16 overall — by the Minnesota Lynx.
Shepard, who transferred to Notre Dame from Nebraska, played in two straight national championship games. Her team won in 2018 then lost Sunday to Baylor. Shepard was twice an All-ACC first-teamer for the Irish.
The four-time All-Nebraska pick committed to the Huskers before her freshman season at Southeast and went on to score 2,227 points during her high school career — fourth most in state history.
She was Big Ten freshman of the year in 2016 and reached 1,000 career points faster than any other Husker. But Shepard transfered to Notre Dame after an 8-22 season in 2016-17, the first under coach Amy Williams.
Another Nebraska high school grad, Kianna Ibis, from Omaha Benson, was not selected.
Shepard’s Notre Dame teammate Jackie Young was the No. 1 overall pick by the Las Vegas Aces. In all, five players from Notre Dame were drafted.
Iowa’s Megan Gustafson was selected the pick after Shepard by the Dallas Wings. The 6-foot-3 center led the nation in scoring (27.8 ppg) and field-goal percentage (69.6) this season, winning several national player of the year awards. Gustafson led the Hawkeyes to the Elite Eight in her final season.
Iowa State’s Brooke Carleton, a 6-1 forward, was taken by Connecticut as the 21st overall pick.
There have now been at least five Nebraska high school graduates selected in the WNBA draft, which was first held in 1997:
» Jessica Shepard (Fremont, Notre Dame): 2019, 2nd round, 16th overall
» Jordan Hooper (Alliance, Nebraska): 2014, 2nd round, 13th overall
» Carla Bennett (Omaha Westside, Drake): 2003, 3rd round, 29th overall
» Reshea Bristol (Omaha Bryan, Arizona): 2001, 4th round, 50th overall
» Nicole Kubik (Cambridge, Nebraska): 2000, 1st round, 15th overall