Angel Reese, now of the WNBA's Chicago Sky

Getty Angel Reese, now of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky

If all goes according to the way things are lined up so far, we could be entering a watershed moment for the WNBA, with the talent and star-power of the 2024 draft class. One of those stars is Chicago Sky forward Angel Reese, who is paired up with another potential star in Kamilla Cardoso, her former rival at South Carolina.

It’s beyond the Chicago duo, though. The rookie excitement starts with Indiana’s Caitlin Clark and goes right on down through players who established themselves as attention-getters in college—Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson with the Sparks (Nos. 2 and 4 in the draft), Aaliyah Edwards of Washington and Jacy Sheldon, now suiting up for the Dallas Wings.

Reese might have gone No. 7, but her performance over the last two years at LSU has established her on the national stage. And, seemingly acknowledging what a big moment this is for the league, Reese had a message for her fellow incoming 2024 rookies after they made their collective preseason debuts this weekend.

Writing on Twitter/X, Reese said, “So happy for all the rooks!!!”

WNBA Being Led Into the Future by Class of 2024

And the WNBA is, no doubt, so happy to have all these rooks. The success of this class will go a long way toward establishing the long-term economic viability of the WNBA as a business proposition on its own, rather than as an offshoot that is dwarfed by the NBA. Originally, the NBA subsidized the WNBA, and while that is no longer the case, the league has yet to come close to breaking free of its status as a niche sport.

But viewership of the WNBA has grown in recent years, and the league is hoping that the incredible interest shown in the NCAA women’s tournament this year, which had record viewership behind stars like Clark and Angel Reese, will be the kind of seminal moment that the NBA had 45 years ago when Magic Johnson’s Michigan State team played Larry Bird and Indiana State.

Certainly, the stage is set.

“The biggest thing we’ve seen in college is when people gave it an opportunity and actually watched it, they continued to come back for more. And it’s the same thing with the WNBA. When you go and buy a ticket or turn on the TV, you see how good it is,” Clark said, per CBS Sports. “That’s the biggest thing, and that’ll take it to a place a lot of people can’t even imagine.”

Angel Reese Feeling Support of Veterans

While it is the rookies who have the potential to change the playing field for those in the WNBA, who have long complained of poor salary compensation, travel issues and a league that is too small in both schedule and league membership, the veterans have been supportive.

That stuck out to Reese, who has been flush with endorsement deals already, just ahead of her first training camp.

“They understand and they know our impact and they embrace that and we’re all just trying to go in the right direction, and I think we’re going up right now,” Reese said, via “Being able to see so many different things with the networks, with the ticket sales, with the jersey sales, like, I think we’re in a really great direction and having support from your vets is amazing.”