Three Ancient Eight stars selected in the 2024 WNBA Draft

McKenzie Forbes, Abbey Hsu and Kaitlyn Davis each heard their name called during Monday’s WNBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Ivy League)

While most of the nation’s attention was focused on Caitlin Clark being selected by the Indiana Fever at the top of the WNBA Draft, Ivy League fans celebrated the selection of Columbia’s Abbey Hsu and Kaitlyn Davis and Harvard’s McKenzie Forbes in the third round of Monday night’s event.

Hsu was a senior guard for two-time regular-season champion Columbia and the 2023-24 Ivy League Player of the Year, while Davis, who played with Hsu at Columbia for three seasons and was a two-time First-Team All-Ivy forward, spent her graduate transfer season as a starter for Southern California. Forbes, a 2021-22 Second Team All-Ivy guard/forward who started her career at California before transferring to Harvard for her final three undergraduate years, joined Davis in the starting lineup for the Trojans. 

Forbes, who grew up in Folsom, Calif., was taken with the 28th overall pick by the Los Angeles Sparks. Hsu, a South Florida native, was selected with the 34th pick by the Connecticut Sun and Davis, who grew up in Norwalk, Ct., was taken with the next pick by the New York Liberty.

“I don’t think I could even put into words how happy I am for both myself and KD (Davis),” Hsu told reporters during a Columbia Athletics press conference on Tuesday morning.  “In the beginning of school, we didn’t know if we wanted to even play pro and coach G (Lions head coach Megan Griffith) was like, listen you guys have a chance at this.” 

Hsu told the reporters that she will use her experiences playing against professional competition as a member of USA Basketball last summer, as well as her recent NCAA All-Star Game appearance, to her advantage as she takes the next step in her career.

While the conference’s all-time three-point shooter plans on learning from everyone in the Sun organization, she has already gotten advice from former Princeton star and 2021-2022 Ivy League Player of the Year Abby Meyers, who was selected by the Washington Mystics after her graduate transfer year at Maryland, about getting an agent and navigating the world of professional basketball. 

As the dust settled from Monday night’s draft, each of the three organizations spoke positively about their new Ancient Eight athletes.

“She’s a really good shooter,” Sun general manager Darius Taylor said of Hsu in a post-draft press conference. “She’s also a very good rebounder. We know that she has a high ceiling and potential to grow into even a better player. She won’t just be a shooter.”

“I’ve been able to watch McKenzie Forbes when she was at Harvard as well as here at USC,” Sparks general manager Raegan Pebley said in a team press release. “Her consistency has always shown up and she desires challenging environments and wants to win. She comes from right here in our backyard and we couldn’t have asked for our pick to go any better.”

While Hsu and Forbes will go to training camp looking to secure two of the coveted 144 roster spots in the WNBA, Davis will have to wait at least one season to try and secure a spot with the Liberty.

“By securing Kaitlyn’s draft rights, she will have the opportunity to continue to develop and compete for a spot on the Liberty as soon as the 2025 season,” Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb said in a press release. “Her athleticism in the frontcourt, dynamic playmaking ability, and rim protection make her an exciting future prospect.”