JSU’s Williams-Holliday Selected In WNBA Draft; 1st HBCU Player Drafted Since 2002

By Jackson State Media Relations

GULFPORT, Miss. – Jackson State University women’s basketball player Ameshya Williams-Holliday was selected in the WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever.

Williams-Holliday (6-4, Sr., Gulfport, Miss.), a third-round pick #25 overall, becomes the first HBCU player selected in the WNBA since 2002 and is the second Southwestern Athletic Conference player and sixth player from an HBCU selected in the history of the league.

Williams-Holliday is the second-highest drafted HBCU player in league history. A gathering of family, friends and supporters in a packed hotel room in her hometown of Gulfport celebrated the accomplishment.

Williams-Holliday is a three-time first-team All-SWAC selection (2020, 2021, 2022), a three-time league Defensive Player of the Year (2020, 2021, 2022), and in 2022 became the first SWAC player since 2019 to win both SWAC Player Of The Year and Defensive Player Of The Year honors in the same season. 

For her career, Williams-Holliday averaged 16.1 points and 11.2 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game. She scored in double-figures 71 times (including the final 39 consecutive games), 53 10+ rebound games, 52 double-doubles (including two 20-20 games), and 60 games of 2+ blocks.

In 2021-22, Williams-Holliday led the conference in scoring (19.2 ppg), rebounds (11.4 RPG), field goal percentage (57.7%), and blocks (2.7 BPG). Williams-Holliday recorded 22 double-doubles during the season (tied for 6th nationally) while scoring in double figures in every game (17 10+ point games, 12 20+ point games, 1 30+ point game), and had 22 games with at least two blocked shots.

Williams scored a career-high 33 points with 11 rebounds vs. Florida A&M (Feb. 12) and scored 18 points with a season-high 21 rebounds, and a career-high-tying seven blocked shots at Arkansas (Dec. 9).

Jackson State won a school-record 23 games this season and became the first women’s basketball team in conference history to go 18-0 in league play. The Lady Tigers have won 31 consecutive conference games dating to the 2020-21 season and, including SWAC Tournaments, have won 37 consecutive games against conference opponents.

JSU currently has a 29-game home winning streak, the second-longest in the country.

HBCU Players – drafted in WNBA

1997: Denique Graves (Howard) 2nd round / 15th overall- Sacramento

1998: Karen Wilkins (Howard) 4th round / 38th overall – Phoenix

2002: Andrea Gardner (Howard) 2nd round / 27th overall – Utah; Amba Kongolo (North Carolina Central) 4th round / 56th overall – Phoenix; Jaclyn Winfield (Southern) 4th round / 59th overall – Utah

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