West Harrison High’s Ameshya Williams-Holiday first HBCU player to be drafted to WNBA since 2002

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Six years ago, Ameshya Williams-Holiday was a senior at West Harrison High School, and fresh off one of the most dominant basketball careers anyone had put together in South Mississippi in some time. After one season at Mississippi State, she transferred to Jackson State, where she helped lead the Tigers to a 48-3 SWAC record in her three seasons. A remarkable career, but it’s not finished yet.

On Monday, Williams-Holiday became the first Jackson State Tiger ever selected in the WNBA Draft, as the Indiana Fever used the 25th overall pick on the 6′4″ center. She’s also the first HBCU player selected in the WNBA since 2002, the second Southwestern Athletic Conference player, and the sixth player from an HBCU selected in the history of the league.

Surrounded by coaches, teammates and family, Williams-Holiday held a watch party in her hometown of Gulfport. Near the end of the first round, she took a call into the hallway, and the room sat quiet. She returned minutes later, knowing her name would be called at some point. But, she had to try and keep a straight face, first.

“I came in smiling, everybody knew I had good news because I kept smiling but I couldn’t stop. I was just too happy,” she said. “I’m grateful, I’m thankful, I just want to thank everybody that helped me through this journey, and that pushed me to keep going and never give up.”

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