Despite missing almost the entirety of the 2019-2020 basketball season, Miami forward Beatrice Mompremier is expected to hear her name called by WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert this Friday in the WNBA draft.
Most mock drafts predict Mompremier will be selected at either eight by the Chicago Sky, ninth by the New York Liberty or tenth by the Phoenix Mercury. Standing at 6’4, Mompremier has both the length and quickness to succeed inside the paint.
Miami women’s basketball coach Katie Meier has been playing the role of Mompremier’s agent in the past couple of weeks.
“An agent doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot to help your status in the WNBA draft,” Meier said in a conference call on Monday.
Meier has talked with a number of WNBA coaches to try and gauge teams’ interest in drafting Mompremier.
Prior to the start of the college basketball season, Mompremier was projected to be a top five pick, but a foot injury limited her to just 17 games in a season where Miami went 15-15. But the redshirt senior still managed to average 16.8 points and 9.8 rebounds while she was on the court.
Meier had urged Mompremier to not rush back to return to the court during the season because she knew she would be a first round draft pick.
“She was so great this year through the injury with not putting Beatrice first,” Meier said. “All she wanted to do was help the team and she hated it while she was out.”
Mompremier was almost guaranteed to be picked in last year’s WNBA draft, but made the decision to return to Miami for her last year of eligibility.
With the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the WNBA will employ a virtual draft. Engelbert will announce team’s picks from her home while cameras will be set up in the homes of some of the top picks, all of which will be televised on ESPN.
While Mompremier won’t have the opportunity to walk across the stage, she will be at her home in Miami with a limited number of family and friends on Friday. Meier said there will be cameras in her home to capture Mompremier’s reaction when her name is called.
“It’s funny because Beatrice is never somebody that would talk about those things,” Meier said. “That’s never been her why. It does matter to lose that moment and that memory, so I feel regret for her but with the perspective of knowing there are terribly more important things going on in the world.”
Friday will be a culmination of a long and difficult college career for Mompremier. After spending the first two years of college at Baylor, Mompremier sat out for a year at Miami in accordance with transfer rules, dominated last season and missed most of this season with an injury. Mompremier also lost her father in the middle of last season.
“My god what that kid has gone through,” Meier said. “What a special special story, so I’m just really hopeful that Friday is everything that she deserves.”