Fans of women’s basketball received some surprising news today.
UCLA guard Charisma Osborne has decided to return to school for another season after having previously declared for the WNBA Draft.
The decision was very unexpected as Osborne was projected to be a top 10 pick in the draft after leading the Bruins to a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament and an appearance in the Sweet 16.
Since the news has come out, there has been an explanation revealed that does not bode well for the WNBA.
According to the New York Times’ Kris Rhim, Osborne is actually in a better situation at UCLA than she would be if she were to stay in the draft.
— Kris Rhim (@krisrhim1) April 5, 2023
According to Rhim, UCLA coach Cori Close consulted with some peers in the WNBA and this is what one of those peers had to say about the decision Osborne had to make:
“Does Charisma want to make more money and stay in college and get massages, fly charter, have everything paid for, have a nutritionist, and have her own trainers that are paid for? Or does she want none of those things and fly Southwest with us?”
This paints a pretty bleak picture of the reality for what the top players in women’s college basketball have to look forward to when the time comes to move on to the next level.
The idea that life is this much better in the PAC-12 than in the WNBA could mean that we’ll see many of these players stick around for the entirety of their college eligibility.
It’s just about the opposite of the men’s game, where only players like Oscar Tshiebwe, who are projected later in the NBA Draft, have the opportunity in from of them to make more money with NIL deals than they can in the league.
If this is really an accurate depiction of the difference between life in college and the WNBA, then we might see a whole lot more of Caitlin Clark at Iowa while she continues to enjoy the amenities of being a college athlete and collects those NIL checks.