WNBA Northwest: Veronica Burton and Nia Coffey

Northwestern is the youngest faculty within the Huge Ten, and it isn’t even shut. It boasts lower than 9,000 undergraduate college students (Nebraska is the second youngest with simply over 20,000 college students) and can be the one non-public faculty within the convention. When folks look to the Northwest from exterior, they’re more likely to see a mid-sized tutorial faculty within the Midwest the place sports activities—albeit Huge Ten sports activities—are usually not a precedence. Nevertheless, those that observe Northwestern College with fondness know this isn’t the case, particularly given the varsity’s ladies’s applications.

With basketball being one of many few ladies’s sports activities to have knowledgeable league, Northwestern ladies’s hoops have loved some kind of next-level success over the previous decade, and little was anticipated earlier than coach Joe McKeown arrived in 2008. Veronica Burton performs Nia Covey is doing an affect investigation within the WNBA, and this occurs after they storm school.

Burton, one of many school’s high defensive gamers, was named seventh within the 2022 WNBA Draft by the Dallas Wings. Her defensive play at Northwestern has been exceptionally credited. Backcourt Burglar gained the WBCA (Girls’s Basketball Coaches Affiliation) Defensive Participant of the Yr in the course of the 2021-2022 season, displaying how coaches have acknowledged her expertise on the nationwide stage. She led the nation in steals per sport (4.03) and was the second particular person ever to win the Huge Ten Defensive Participant of the Yr thrice, solely after Penn State’s Tanisha Wright.

This was solely the start of her homage. Apart from the aforementioned accolades from each the convention and the WBCA, Burton has acquired quite a few first-team All-Huge Ten awards and was a finalist for the Naismith Nationwide Defensive Participant of the Yr, Nancy Lieberman Award (Greatest Goalkeeper within the Nation) and the Daybreak Staley Award ( Guardian of the State. She was additionally the primary Wildcat ever to be assigned to an AP All-America crew.

Placing all awards and nominations apart, Burton was essential to the ladies’s basketball program and Northwestern College as a complete. She was the most effective gamers to ever run on the present and made the Northwestern group know her title from day one.

Within the midst of her rookie marketing campaign for the wings, Burton has nearly by no means seen the time she’s seen in Evanston but – averaging simply 12 minutes per sport – nevertheless it’s clear the wings have long-term plans for her to slot in on the subsequent leg to Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey.

Northwestern followers hope Burton might be an influential WNBA participant for years to return, and so they do not should look far to see the comparability. Not solely has Nia Coffey been a star in purple and white, she’s additionally organising numbers within the WNBA.

Kofi graduated from NU in 2017 because the highest-grossing WNBA choose ever to interrupt out of Evanston in fifth total. Her 2021 season was her finest but, averaging 8.3 factors per sport with the Los Angeles Sparks, and in her 2022 season with the Atlanta Dream, she led the crew in rebounds. Certainly one of her most up-to-date information appearances was a double in opposition to the Indiana Fever, the place she scored 16 factors and 10 rebounds.

Though Kofi has performed for 4 groups in her six seasons on the skilled stage, she reveals that regardless of the scene, she is a dynamic participant. Over the previous two years, she’s achieved profession highs in factors (8.3), rebounds (5.5), and assists (0.9) in each sport, together with begins (17).

Burton and Covey each got here to the Northwest with out spotlighting them. However they each turned stars in purple and had been capable of achieve nationwide consideration by advantage of their very own talents, propelling them to the WNBA.

There are solely 144 spots on the WNBA roster, and the truth that the McKeown alumni maintain two reveals defies all odds – they’ve gained visibility at a small faculty not identified for his or her basketball prowess up to now and locked themselves into one of many few skilled girls. leagues within the nation.

Burton and Coffey are actually on the large screens, and if Northwestern followers need to see some purple within the professionals, the WNBA is the place to be.