Kate Martin and Megan Gustafson of the Las Vegas Aces before facing Angel Reese and Chicago Sky

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Why Kate Martin has a path to making the Aces roster

The path to a WNBA roster for most college basketball players isn’t a climb to the top of Mount Everest, but it’s not far off. Only 36 players get drafted each year, and most don’t ever see the light of day at the next level.

Even those that do make it play overseas in addition to the WNBA season because the salary isn’t livable.

Caitlin Clark will be fine. The other 99% of women’s basketball players will face a gauntlet to continue their pro careers.

Fellow Naismith winner Megan Gustafson was a second round pick by the Dallas Wings, and she was cut following training camp. She stuck around in the league and now plays with her former teammate: Kate Martin.

Martin was a second round pick; she attended the draft in New York to support Caitlin Clark. “The Glue” was an exceptional role player and a fan favorite in Iowa City. She did all the little things and then some, wearing any hat the team needed her to wear and was a huge reason why the Hawkeyes made back-to-back national championship appearances.

Like all draftees, Martin will scratch and claw for one spot at the bottom of the roster. The Aces brought in their rookie class of four and have two other players with no WNBA experience (including South Carolina’s Brea Beal).

One thing working in her favor is WNBA legend Candace Parker’s retirement. The training camp roster has been cut down from 17 to 16. With 12 openings in play, Martin has to outperform at least four other rookies.

As a player, Martin is the perfect end-of-the-bench type of player. She’s been lauded for her impeccable leadership. She won’t be a Udonis Haslem type of player either.

Her last two years at Iowa she shot 41% and 37% from three-point range. Even though she’s six feet tall she averaged nearly seven rebounds per game her final year at Iowa. She can handle the ball and will not demand touches in any offense.

In a few weeks we’ll have an answer as to whether Martin’s WNBA dreams will be fully realized in her rookie season. There is a path to Martin sticking around, but it will not be an easy one.