Photo credit IU Athletics

Grace Berger picked by Indiana Fever in the WNBA Draft first round

Grace Berger has made it two years in a row for IU women’s basketball in the WNBA Draft.

The Louisville native was selected by Indiana Fever with the No. 7 overall pick on Monday in New York City. She’s the first Hoosier to ever be selected in the first round of the WNBA Draft.

“I knew it would be amazing, but I think I was really grateful, full of emotion when I heard my name called,” Berger said. “Especially being there with my dad, who had been taking me to Indiana Fever games since I was six, seven, eight years old, it was just two hours up the road from Louisville. To get called was surreal, but to get called by a team that you’ve been going to with your dad since you were really little, I think, just made it even more special.”

Berger joins Ali Patberg (2022 third-round pick), Jori Davis (2011 third-round pick), Jill Chapman (2002 second round), and Quacy Barnes (1998 third round) as the only IU players picked in the WNBA Draft.

This is the first time in program history that Indiana has had players selected in the WNBA Draft in two straight years. And both Berger and Patberg were selected by the Fever.

Fever general manager Lin Dunn made several appearances at IU games this year. IU head coach Teri Moren played for Dunn at Purdue from 1988-1992.

Moren and Berger shared a heartfelt embrace after the pick was announced.

“It was unbelievable to have her here,” Berger said. “She means the world to me. She means so much to me. I can’t even begin to say how much of an impact she’s had on obviously the player that I am, but I think the person I am, the woman that I am.”

Berger finished her career seventh on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,841 points, and she ranks second in assists with 573 assists. Her 118 career wins is the most in Indiana history.

It only added to Berger’s excitement to return to Indiana and play in front of some of the same fans that cheered her on for five years in Bloomington.

“Obviously people are crazy about basketball in Indiana, but they’re crazy about women’s basketball in Indiana. We were able to build that fan base at Indiana, that was special to me,” Berger said. “Hopefully we have a lot of the Indiana Hoosier women’s basketball fans that are now, during the summer time, huge Indiana Fever fans.”

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