Emily Engstler can officially place herself among the best basketball players from New York City.
The Louisville forward, who grew up on Roosevelt Island, was drafted fourth overall by Indiana Fever in the 2022 WNBA Draft Monday night in Tribeca.
Engstler, 21, is the first New York City player to be selected in the first round of the WNBA draft since Tina Charles (No. 1 overall) and Epiphanny Prince (No. 4 overall) of the Connecticut Sun and Chicago Sky were selected, respectively in 2010.
“I got a little emotional up there for a second because I think it all hit me all at once,” Engstler told reporters when asked about being drafted in her hometown. “It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I am super grateful and feel very blessed.”
Engstler joins a Fever team that finished last season with the worst record in the league, 6-26. But the Fever made four first-round selections, also adding 2nd-ranked Baylor forward NaLyssa Smith, 6th-ranked Stanford guard Lexie Hull and 10th-ranked Baylor center Queen Egbo.
“I think the conversion is ok,” said Engstler. “It has to be done and I’m really grateful to be a part of it.”
The 6-foot-1 Engstler fills Indiana’s need for size and defense as she averaged 2.7 steals and 1.8 blocks for Louisville last season.
“I think defense is about passion,” Engstler told ESPN after being selected. “I think I bring that into my game. You’re good at things you love to do and I love playing defense.”
Engstler, who played her high school prom at Christ the King and St. Francis Prep Catholic Schools, is leading the Cardinals to the Final Four after transferring from Syracuse. Last season, she averaged career bests of 11.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 37.6 percent 3-point shooting for the Cardinals for the Cardinals.
Engstler got emotional when asked about her mother, Marilyn, and sister, Danielle, who helped her get in better shape during the offseason.
“I wouldn’t be here without her,” she told ESPN. “It’s been a really long journey. I love her. You have always been there for me.”
Engstler was knocked out one spot before hometown would take Liberty in 5th place. New York chose Oregon forward Nyara Sabally. The Atlanta Dream made Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard the No. 1 pick overall.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/wnba-draft-nyc-native-emily-engstler-drafted-no-4-to-fever/ New York native Emily Engstler designed #4 for Fever