Sjerven reaction video courtesy of Curt Slater

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — USD’s Hannah Sjerven was selected 28th in Monday’s WNBA Draft, making her the first-ever Coyote to be drafted into the WNBA.

Following a run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, Hannah Sjerven elected to put her name into the WNBA Draft.

“I’d seen the mock drafts and heard some things from my agents and you just don’t get your hopes up, don’t read into the mock drafts too much, because they’re not always right,” Hannah Sjerven said. “I’d talked to a few teams through the week, not anything serious, just trying to get to know me. So I was hopeful.”

Sjerven had to wait until the third round, but she was finally drafted 28th overall to her childhood favorite team, the Minnesota Lynx.

KELO Minnesota Lynx Logo

“It’s definitely like a dream come true. Growing up I was a Lynx fan and my parents brought me to games,” Sjerven said. “So to know that I’m on their roster right now and that I’m going to training camp this weekend, it’s a dream come true.”

The next challenge for Sjerven will be making the roster, as that task is difficult for WNBA rookies.

“There’s just not a lot of room on rosters with salary caps and that kind of thing. I think to have realistic expectations about what I’m going into also to go in and give it my all, because they’re expecting that,” Sjerven said.

Sjerven wasn’t the only player drafted to Minnesota as she’ll join fellow rookie Kayla Jones, who was drafted in the second round out of North Carolina State.

“I feel kind of like a freshman in college again. It’s the same kind of feeling. I have connected with Kayla and she seems like a very nice girl so far and I’m excited that there’s someone else going through this with me,” Sjerven said.

Hannah Sjerven
South Dakota center Hannah Sjerven (34) rears to hitting a three-pointer during the first half of a college basketball game against the Baylor in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Waco, Texas, Sunday, March 20, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Plenty of people have helped Sjerven reach the WNBA, but she credits former USD head coach, Dawn Plitzuweit for her growth in college.

“Even though she is gone, I think we can all just be so grateful. For me as an individual, she just grew my game and then prepared me in other ways off the court. I don’t know if I realize all of them yet,” Sjerven said. “Definitely, she helped me mature into the person that I am today, so I’m extremely thankful to her.”

Sjerven will head to Minnesota on Friday, with camp beginning on Sunday.