“It’s been really cool to see a lot more excitement for the women’s game,” Flores said. “I think it’s important for younger girls and younger athletes to see the opportunity. They are able to see themselves in these young women’s shoes who are about to go to the WNBA.” On Thursday, Flores will get to add another memory to the bank for these three players – watching them being picked in the 2021 WNBA Draft.
Collier, who went on to star at the University of Texas, has been the headliner of this draft class ever since she formally declared. The former Cypress Ranch star helped lead the Mustangs to the Class 6A State Championship game in 2017 and then went on to Baylor where she helped lead them to the 2019 National Championship.
The next Houston kid on the draft board is Richards, who is projected to go No. 21 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks. “I’ve never seen anybody with a touch like that from the outside and the inside,” Flores said of Richards. “A 6-1 player that played with the finesse that she played with and then to go on to college and continue to thrive.”
“Yes, it was ridiculous,” Flores said with a chuckle about if she thought Collier would be a No. 1 overall pick one day after facing her. “She’s just a competitor. It’s amazing to see someone play the way she does at her size and she dominated. Then when she went on to UT playing under Karen Aston and now Vic Schaefer, she’s gotten stronger, increase her physicality and she’s embraced it.” The Barbers Hill product is projected in every mock draft to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Dallas Wings come Thursday night.
But what is crazy about Mulkey is when she first walked into Cypress Woods High School, basketball was not at the forefront of her mind. The final Houston-area product is Mulkey, projected to go No. 35 to the Seattle Storm.
The 2015 Class 6A State Champion after Cypress Woods went to Oklahoma her freshman season before transferring to Rice where she helped lead them to the NCAA Tournament and winning the 2021 NIT Championship. Mulkey ended up going with basketball and the move paid off. “Nancy had a desire to play volleyball,” Flores said. “She wanted to meet the volleyball coach and I don’t know if basketball was on the horizon at the time. I think she had played it.”
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