Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury
Six players of Latin American descent made the cut for opening day; Diana Taurasi is the only veteran on the list as she is set to play in her 20th WNBA season Domenic Allegra/Via thenexthoops.com

SEATTLE- Prepare for a season like no other. This Tuesday, May 14, the 28th season of the Women's National Basketball Association tips off with the Washington Mystics hosting Sabrina Ionescu's Liberty in the season opener.

After an offseason full of expectations generated by the arrival of rookie Caitlin Clark, players of Latin American descent will hope to steal the spotlight from the No.1 overall pick of the 2024 WNBA Draft and upcoming star.

This year, six Latina players will be on opening day rosters across the league, with Diana Taurasi leading the pack. The Argentine-American is one of the most legendary players in the history of women's basketball, with 19 WNBA seasons under her belt and being the only one in the history of the league to score 10,000 points.

Taurasi is set to break Sue Bird's record for most seasons played (19) when she suits up for the Phoenix Mercury's season opener against the reigning champions Las Vegas Aces on May 14.

After the three-time WNBA champion, the rest of the players on this list have little to no experience in the 'W.' Out of the six Latina players in opening day rosters, three of them are rookies and two are yet to make their debut in the league.

After Clark, Brazilian Kamilla Cardoso seems to be the best prospect of the 2024 draft. She won the national championship title in her last season with South Carolina and was selected by the Chicago Sky with the third overall pick. The 6-foot-7 forward will be one of two Brazilian-born players this season joining the Dallas Wings forward Stephanie Soares.

After missing the 2023 season due to an ACL injury, she signed a contract with the Wings on February. She was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2023 draft but failed to make her debut with the Mystics due to the injury.

Rookie guard Celeste Taylor will be Clark's teammate in Indiana after the Fever selected the two-way guard from Ohio State with the 15th overall pick in the draft.

Taylor, of Colombian and Puerto Rican descent, spent her last season at the collegiate level with the Ohio State Buckeyes, helping the team to a Big Ten regular season title and a run to the NCAA Tournament.

The other rookie of Latin American descent set to make her debut this season is Esmery Martínez. She became the first Dominican-born player to be drafted in WNBA history when the Liberty selected her with the 17th overall pick.

Martínez spent the last two seasons with the Arizona Wildcats, becoming a key player for the team in both sides of the ball. The 6-foot-2 forward averaged 11.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 2.0 SPG last season while earning an honorable mention in the All-Pac12 Team.

Last but not least, Lou López Sénéchal will hope to make her WNBA debut after after missing her rookie season due to a knee injury. In 2023, Lopez Sénéchal became the first Mexican-born player to be drafted when the Dallas Wings selected her with the fifth overall pick.

Due to roster limitations, two other Latina players didn't make the cut for opening day rosters. Leilani Correa, drafted by the Fever, was waived a few days ago. Teammate Damiris Dantas also saw her contract temporarily suspended by the Fever. The Brazilian spend the first week of training camp in Brazil due to visa issues and a family emergency.

Mexican-American Evina Westbrook is another player looking to secure a deal during the season. Westbrook signed with the Los Angeles Sparks at the end of the 2023 season and played nine games with the team. She made her WNBA debut in 2022 and since then has played in 38 games with four different teams.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.