East Orange native selected by Phoenix in 2020 WNBA Draft, then traded to New York

East Orange native Jocelyn Willoughby always wanted to play professional basketball, but thought her future in the sport would take her overseas.

News 12 Staff

Apr 23, 2020, 9:43 AM

Updated 1,450 days ago

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East Orange native Jocelyn Willoughby always wanted to play professional basketball, but thought her future in the sport would take her overseas. But with the 10 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, the Phoenix Mercury selected Willoughby from the University of Virginia.
“Sitting there I was just so tensed and stressed and after my name was called it was unbelievable,” says Willoughby.
But just as Willoughby was catching her breath, the six-foot forward was in for another shock.
“To be traded to New York to come back home is even more special and to be a part of that program that's rebuilding and just has so much excitement and momentum around them right now,” says Willoughby.
The trade was a welcomed surprise for Willoughby and her family. The Liberty play their home games at the Barclays Center, less than 25 miles from her hometown.
“My parents don't have to make the drive to Virginia or fly across the country to come to my game, they can literally just cross the bridge,” says Willoughby.
Willoughby is a graduate of Newark Academy in Livingston. She says she's excited to see how she develops at the next level, and that she has the opportunity to show girls from home that anything is possible.
“Just that piece is more motivation for me, but it's also so inspiring to see the impact that I can have on the people who helped me get here,” says Willoughby.
Willoughby will be joining this year's number one overall pick, Sabrina Ionescu, on the Liberty's roster.


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