Bella Alarie goes to Dallas with the fifth pick in the WNBA Draft

Bella Alarie is a Dallas Wing now. (WNBA)

Princeton’s Bella Alarie didn’t have to wait long to hear her name, as she was called with the fifth overall pick by the Dallas Wings in Friday night’s WNBA Draft.

“It’s been my lifelong dream to play in the WNBA, so it was a really special moment,” Alarie told WNBA media. “I’m glad I got to share it with my family.”

Earlier in the week, Dallas President, CEO and General Manager Greg Bibb discussed his interest in Alarie with Ivy Hoops Online and sealed the deal with the team’s second pick of the first round.

Bella becomes the second member of the family chosen in the first round, following her father, Mark, who went to the Denver Nuggets with the 18th pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.  She also joins former teammate Leslie Robinson as the only other Tiger to be drafted in the WNBA and equals the highest spot ever by an Ivy League hoopster with Harvard’s Allison Feaster (1998; Los Angeles Sparks).

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Pre-WNBA Draft buzz for Princeton’s Bella Alarie

Three-time Ivy Player of the Year Bella Alarie has long demonstrated that she’s a WNBA-caliber talent, and league evaluators are taking stock of her potential for success there. (Princeton Athletics)

With the nation continuing its fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the sports world on hiatus, the WNBA will provide some actual live entertainment on Friday night as the league’s draft will be televised at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN. Ivy hoops fans will have an additional bit of interest waiting to hear Bella Alarie’s name.

Alarie, a three-time Ivy League Player of the Year, four-time first team All-Ivy, two-time AP Honorable Mention All-America and all-time Princeton leader in both points and blocks, looks to be the third Ancient Eight athlete picked in Draft history and the first chosen in the opening round since Harvard’s Allison Feaster went No. 5 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks in 1998.

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Bella Alarie: A once-in-a-lifetime Tiger

Bella Alarie averaged 16.1 points, 9.1 rebounds. 2.5 assists and 2.3 blocks per game over a four-year career at Princeton during which she named Ivy Player of the Year three times and led the Tigers to three straight Ivy League championships. (Ivy League Network)

This has been a week of tumultuous developments in the Ivy League, most of them sad and disappointing.

But there has been some good news from the league as well. Players of the Year have been announced: Paul Atkinson from Yale and AJ Brodeur from Penn on the men’s side, and the incomparable Bella Alarie from Princeton, for the third year in a row, on the women’s.

Alarie is the only Princeton player to have won the POY award three times and to be named a first-team All-Ivy player in all four years of her college career. She has been more than a once-in-a-generation player. She has achieved once-in-a-lifetime status.

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