The 2019 NBA 2K League Draft on March 5 will mark the first time that women have qualified for the league, with Chiquita Evans and Brianna Novin included in this year’s 198-player draft pool.
Evans and Novin, both hailing from the US, are among the 144 new players who were selected by the league following an extensive tryout process. Six players from the APAC Invitational that took place in Hong Kong in early February and 48 unretained players from the inaugural season complete the 198-player draft pool. You can check the full list of draft-eligible players here.
The NBA 2K League’s inaugural draft class last year consisted of 102 men. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver notably called the lack of gender diversity in the league’s first season ”a disappointment for all of us so far.”
The league hopes to rectify that this year, citing efforts to diversify its player pool that started during its inaugural season. The female players hope for much of the same, as making the league will be a moral victory for women in esports who have struggled to earn the respect and legitimacy their male counterparts enjoy.
“All I need is that one team willing to take a chance on me so I can show why I am here. I have everything to prove and I will prove it by out working everyone and making sure my team is in the best position to win,” said Novin on her Twitter account.
We can only wait for the draft itself to see if Novin and Evans will get the chance that so many women in esports have been waiting for.
Jazz Gaming hold the first overall pick in the 2019 Draft after winning the lottery. The full draft order is available here.
The NBA 2K League Draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.