WNBA Draft: Grace Berger’s journey from Indiana Hoosiers to Fever

Grace Berger grew up simply throughout the Ohio River from a state that she has now develop into synonymous with.

She’s from Louisville Kentucky, however selected to play school basketball at Indiana over Louisville and Kentucky. Now, she’s staying within the Hoosier State as a result of the Indiana Fever chosen her with the No. 7 choose within the 2023 WNBA Draft on April 10. She’s going to be a part of South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, whose choice at first general dominated headlines, on the Fever’s coaching camp, in addition to No. 13 choose Taylor Mikesell (Ohio State), No. 17 choose LaDazhia Williams (LSU) and No. 25 choose Victaria Saxton (South Carolina).

The primary phrase that involves thoughts when describing Berger is stylish. She’s just about the epitome of sophistication, as is the lady who has outlined the Fever franchise greater than another particular person: Tamika Catchings. Catchings was ranked by ESPN because the second-best participant in WNBA historical past in 2021 and stayed loyal to the Fever by enjoying in Indiana her complete profession. She introduced the franchise a championship in 2012. She additionally introduced it a fame as a category group, a fame that continues to be and that Berger can slip proper into.

The Fever have been the worst workforce within the league two years in a row, however the addition of Boston and the return of free agent Erica Wheeler give them hope of constructing the playoffs this yr. Berger has an opportunity to assist their trigger as properly; she is called the mid-range queen, is a triple-double risk together with her rebounding and distributing and is only a flat-out winner.

Indiana returned to the second spherical of the NCAA Match in 2016 for the primary time since 1983. It went to the second spherical once more throughout Berger’s freshman season of 2018-19. But it surely was actually 2019-20 when each this system and Berger individually arrived within the nationwide highlight.

The 2018-19 workforce truly had a dropping document in convention play and was only a No. 10 seed within the Large Dance. The 2019-20 workforce went 24-8 general and 13-5 within the Large Ten, incomes it a No. 4 seed in Swish Attraction’s hypothetical bracket. Berger improved her minutes per recreation from 20.2 to 34.4 and her factors per recreation from 5.5 to 13.4. She and Ali Patberg had been the dynamic duo that turned the Hoosiers right into a nationwide energy that yr.

The next season, Indiana went 21-6 general and 16-2 within the Large Ten to earn a actual No. 4 seed — its highest seeding in program historical past to that time. It has since earned a No. 3 seed (2022) and No. 1 seed (2023) and been to 2 Candy Sixteens and an Elite Eight, with the Elite Eight coming as a No. 4 seed throughout that magical 2020-21 season. That Elite Eight, which got here when the previous-best end in program historical past was the second spherical, will at all times be remembered in Hoosier lore, as will the No. 1 seed earned this previous season. Berger was on the middle of all of it.

So her legacy within the state of Indiana already stands tall. And, to reiterate, the Fever have drafted a real winner. We’ll have to attend and see if she turns into an enormous star within the WNBA, however, for now, it’s a feel-good story that the Indiana Fever of Indianapolis drafted a participant that was so beloved simply an hour south in Bloomington.