A UCLA record-holder in terms of most consecutive wins to start a season is headed to the WNBA. Japreece Dean ran point for the Bruins this past season, as she had for the past three seasons overall, helping UCLA jump out to a perfect 16-0 record, the best record to start a season in UCLA history.
Dean is now making the professional leap after she was selected with the 30th overall pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft. The Chicago Sky drafted Dean with the sixth pick in the third round, landing her in a great spot to compete right away.
That’s something that UCLA head coach Cori Close said she is excited to watch unfold.
“Japreece is going to be a great pro,” Close told UCLA Athletics. “Her love of the game is infections. Her work ethic is unwavering. I’m so excited to watch her with the Chicago Sky!”
Dean transferred from Texas Tech and played in 90 games during her three seasons with the Bruins, becoming the 37th player in UCLA history to reach 1,000 career points. She topped out at 1,088 career points and didn’t get to finish her career out after the coronavirus pandemic shut down the postseason for men’s and women’s basketball this year.
She also represents the 13th player drafted during coach Close’s tenure at UCLA.
Dean will now head to the Sky, who currently are run point by nine-year veteran Courtney Vandersloot, who was named to the All-WNBA First Team in 2019, the first time in her career. Vandersloot is a long-time pro who should aid in Dean’s growth and adaptation to the pro game while potentially serving as a mentor who ultimately yields control to the younger Dean.
Congratulations, Japreece! Go represent Bruin Nation proud!