With all the attention the NFL has given to HBCU football prospects with the HBCU Combine and HBCU Legacy Bowl, there has been a slight neglect for potential HBCU basketball prospects looking for a career on the biggest stage.
There is just one HBCU alum currently playing in the National Basketball Association (Robert Covington, Tennessee State) and there have only been two HBCU players selected in the NBA Draft since 2000.
As bad as it has been for the men’s HBCU basketball players, it has not been nearly as bad as the lack of opportunity for the women looking for a career in the WNBA.
In the 25-year history of the WNBA, there have only been five HBCU players drafted into the league, and only two have stepped on the court in the league.
There are a ton of women’s basketball players in the HBCU community either still in college or are recent graduates that are more than qualified for a shot to play in the WNBA.
Here we will breakdown eight players that stand out the most that deserve an opportunity to play at the highest level of women’s basketball.
Angel Golden, Bethune-Cookman
In Angel Golden’s two seasons as the primary starting guard with Bethune-Cookman, she was arguably the top player the MEAC had to offer.
In 2017-2018, she was named the MEAC Player of the Year averaging 15.7 points per game (4th in MEAC) connecting on 84 three-pointers (2nd in MEAC) leading her team to the best overall record in the conference at 24/7.
The next season, she took her play up a notch averaging 19.9 points per game (2nd in MEAC) making a MEAC-leading 96 three-pointers once again being named to the All-MEAC team.
This time around, Golden led Bethune-Cookman to its 2nd MEAC title in school history winning the Most Outstanding Player Award for her play in the tournament.
She scored 70 points in three MEAC tournament games including two 26-point performances in the first two games.
In the NCAA tournament, Golden put forth a great performance against the eventual National championship runners-up Notre Dame scoring a game-high 25 points connecting on six three-pointers.
Angel Golden would be a great addition to a WNBA team looking for scoring in their backcourt.
Daisa Harris, Livingstone
Daisa Harris’ college career began at Harford Community College where she was a big star averaging 19.9 points per game, 4.6 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 3.9 steals in 62 games.
She then moved on to Livingstone in 2018 making an immediate impact in her first season with the team.
In 30 games, she ranked second in the CIAA in scoring (21.2 ppg), second in assists (4.8), and led in steals (2.7) while adding 6.1 rebounds.
Her signature performance came against Shaw finishing with a season-high 41 points along with eight assists, six steals and four rebounds.
In the 2019 CIAA tournament, she helped lead the Blue Bears to their first win in a first-round game in three years defeating Virginia State 67-63. Harris finished the game with a full line of 25 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, five steals and a block.
The 2020 season saw Harris numbers drop slightly though she once again ranked second in the CIAA in scoring (17.7), second in assists (4.0) and third in steals (2.6) while also posting 5.6 rebounds.
Harris opened the season with a bang putting up 26 points, seven assists, six rebounds and six steals.
Chanette Hicks, Norfolk State
A transfer from Virginia Tech, Chanette Hicks played just one season with Norfolk State but it was a historic one, to say the least.
She led the MEAC in scoring (20.0), assists (5.0) and steals (4.9) becoming the first player in conference history to win the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
In just her third game with the Spartans, Hicks recorded a triple-double against Virginia University-Lynchburg with 20 points, 14 assists, and 11 steals.
Her best game against a Division I opponent came against Howard finishing with 30 points, nine steals, seven assists, five rebounds, and two blocks.
In her time at Virginia Tech, Hicks was just as dominant finishing in the top 20 in steals as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore.
WNBA teams looking for a guard that makes plays on both ends of the floor would not be disappointing if they signed Chanette Hicks.
Kyaja Williams, Bowie State
Kyaja Williams was one of the most versatile players in HBCU basketball in her time at Bowie State. Her long wingspan allowed her to be effective on both ends of the floor and would serve as a tool for success in the WNBA.
In 118 career college games, Williams averaged 10.3 points per game, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.6 steals. In her senior season, she finished fourth in the CIAA in scoring (13.8), second in rebounding (10.1), and led in steals (4.1) making her the only player to finish in the top five in each category that season.
In the final game of her career, in the 2020 CIAA championship game, she did it all finishing with 14 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five steals.
In a Jan. 2019 matchup against Shaw, she recorded her only career triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 steals.
In all four years she was with Bowie State, the team won 20 games or more including a combined record of 47-11 as the team’s primary starting forward.
Ay’Anna Bey, Benedict
Benedict senior forward Ay’Anna Bey has been a force for the Tigers since she stepped on the court for the team.
This season, Bey has averaged 15.7 points per game, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.6 steals. In her last game against Edward Waters, she tallied 25 points, 18 rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
However, her best overall game may have been against Central State when she had 14 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, four steals, and five blocks.
In 112 career games, Bey is averaging 18.1 points per game and 9.6 rebounds. Her best season came in 2018-2019 when she put up 23.7 points and 12.5 rebounds.
Her signature performance came against Clark Atlanta in the penultimate game of the season scoring a career-high 44 points on a super-efficient 21-of-23 shooting from the field adding 17 rebounds and two blocks.
Ameshya Williams, Jackson State
Reigning SWAC Defensive Player of the Year Ameshya Williams is not only making a run for a second straight award, but she is also making a case to win the SWAC Player of the Year.
So far, she is leading the SWAC in points (16.7), rebounds (10.3), blocks (3.0) and field goal percentage (53%).
In her 60 career games, the former five-star Mississippi State transfer, is averaging 14.6 points per game on 52% shooting from the field, 10.9 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks.
She has been in the top 10 in scoring in all three of her college seasons as well as being a top two rebounder and top shot blocker each year.
One of her signature performances this season came against Arkansas on Dec. 7 finishing the game with 18 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocks.
The best game of her career, however, was by far against Alabama State in Jan. 2021 when she posted 25 points, 23 rebounds and seven blocks.
At 6’4, she has the height to be able to go toe-to-toe with some of the top frontcourt players in the WNBA today.
Whether or not she would be able to handle that challenge remains to be seen but she absolutely deserves a shot to prove herself in the big leagues.
Shareka McNeill, Virginia Union/North Carolina A&T
In Shareka McNeill’s first three years with the Virginia Union Panthers, an argument could be made she was among not just the top HBCU women’s basketball players in the country, but the top women’s basketball players in all of Division II.
After a solid freshman season in which McNeill averaged 12.5 points per game, she nearly doubled her scoring average as a sophomore in the 2018-2019 season putting up 24.7 points.
She helped lead the Panthers to the CIAA championship kicking off the tournament scoring a record 59 points against Livingstone.
While her 2019-2020 season was cut to just eight games, she made the most of it averaging 32.4 points per game scoring over 40 points three times including a 55-point game against Livingstone.
Now with North Carolina A&T, she has shrugged off some early-season struggles producing back-to-back 20-point games against East Carolina and Cincinnati respectively.
McNeill’s scoring ability will make her a prime candidate for a WNBA roster spot.
Shakyla Hill, Grambling State
If you know anything about the college career of Shakyla Hill or even her career after college, you would be outraged that she has not received a shot in the WNBA.
In 130 career games, Hill filled the stat sheet averaging 15.9 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.8 steals.
She is most famous for being the only player in women’s Division I basketball history to ever record two career quadruple-doubles. In fact, she is one of only five women in Division I basketball to ever do so with the last occurrence prior to hers coming in 1993.
If it wasn’t bad enough that she was so dominant in college and hasn’t gotten a shot in the WNBA, just look at how great she’s been since turning pro.
In her first season playing in Serbia in the ZLS, Hill averaged 13.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 5.7 steals.
She became the first player in the league’s history to record a quadruple-double tallying 15 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and 11 steals in a game in Jan. 2020.
Hill is too great an all-around player to not have received a shot in the WNBA.