mjordan2@sdale.orgSpringdale High School graduate Marquesha Davis was drafted to play as a guard for the New York Liberty April 15 at the Women’s National Basketball Association Draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City.

“Marquesha is a talented player whose athleticism, length, creation off-the-dribble, and ability to get downhill all grade at the WNBA level, and she has all of the physical tools to develop into an elite perimeter defender,” said Liberty General Manager Jonathan Kolb in a team press release.

The draft was shared with Davis' family, friends and Springdale High students and staff, who watched the event live from the Bulldog Arena's hospitality room and student section bleachers. Davis was joined at the draft in New York by Springdale High School basketball Coach Heather Hunsucker, who coached Davis as a Lady Bulldog.

Hunsucker has coached for Springdale High for 13 years and is the 2024 Northwest Arkansas Girls Basketball Coach of the Year, according to Henry Apple, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports reporter.

Davis, 22, graduated from Springdale High in 2019 and is the first female basketball player who is a Springdale Public Schools graduate to be signed as a professional athlete, said Trent Jones, district communications director.

The student-athlete was a Springdale High School career point leader with 1,780 points, the Lady Bulldogs’ career rebound leader with 798 rebounds and was a three-time All-State, All-Conference, All-State Tournament Team and 7A West Scoring Leader, according to Hunsucker. Davis was also selected for the 2019 All-AR Prep First Team, was the KURM Dream Team Player of the Year for 2018-2019, was the 2019 USA Today Arkansas Player of the Year and was a 2019 USA Today All-American.

mjordan2@sdale.orgDavis began her college basketball career as a freshman with the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for the 2019-20 season and played with the Razorbacks through the 2021-22 season, according to the University of Mississippi website. She transferred to Ole Miss as a senior and played with the Rebels for the 2022-23 season.

In her most recent season at Ole Miss, Davis, a 6-0 guard, averaged a team-high 14.0 points and 1.5 steals per game – both career bests, according to the Liberty release. The All-SEC First Team selection also averaged 4.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game on 44.7% (180-403) shooting from the field, while reaching double-figure scoring in 25 games and recording eight 20-point games in her 2023-24 campaign. The McGehee, Ark. native also tallied a career-high 33 points on 57.9% (11-19) from the field in an SEC Tournament Quarterfinals win over Florida.

Davis calls McGehee, Arkansas, home and is the daughter of LaTonya Spratt. She moved to Springdale in the ninth grade and helped lead George Junior High School to a regional girls basketball championship.

The Indiana Fever made the first overall pick in the draft, followed, respectively, by the Los Angeles Sparks and the Chicago Sky. The New York Liberty was 11th in the first round of draft picks. The 2024 draft consisted of three rounds, with each round consisting of twelve picks.

mjordan2@sdale.orgIn addition to Davis, the New York Liberty selected Esmery Martinez from Arizona and Jessika Carter from Mississippi State with its pair of second round picks at No. 17 and 23, respectively, according to the team press release. The Liberty used its No. 35 overall pick to draft Kaitlyn Davis from USC.

“Tonight was a success for the future of the New York Liberty. Welcoming Marquesha, Esmery, Jessika, and Kaitlyn to the organization further expands our breadth of young talent for 2024 and beyond as we strategically pursue perennial contention,” Kolb said in the release. “We are excited to add this versatile group, both in the immediate and future, with unique skillsets that fit our style of play here in New York,” added Head Coach Sandy Brondello.

The 2024 draft was the first WNBA draft to be held as a seated event with fans in attendance, according to the association’s website. The drafts were previously held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

mjordan2@sdale.orgView Davis' WNBA Draft HERE.

Read All 2024 WNBA Draft Picks HERE.