The NCAAW March Madness tournament has officially concluded, crowning 3-seed LSU as this year’s victor. Now, all Stanford fans’ eyes are on what’s next for players, specifically the so-called Funky Four. Speculation is in the air. It did not take long for Cardinal fans to receive their answer.
Teams like Stanford and South Carolina might have experienced an unexpected end to the season, but basketball is anything but over for seniors on these highly ranked teams. The Cardinal’s own guard Haley Jones and forward Ashten Prechtel are entering the draft; the former is a highly anticipated first-round pick in the 2023 WNBA draft.
Jones had an outstanding run with the Cardinal. Over the course of her college career, she amassed 1535 points, 889 rebounds, 396 assists, 107 blocks, 90 steals and 111 starts out of 118 games played. The Santa Cruz native has a robust career accolades list, including numerous All-America teams, 2022 Naismith Trophy Finalist, three-time Cheryl Miller Award Finalist, Most Outstanding Player of numerous tournaments, 2022 Pac-12 Player of the Year, 2022 Rainbow Wahine Showdown MVP and an ESPN Top-10 NCAAW player for the 2022-2023 season. Through all of this, Jones is predicted to be a top-10 draft pick.
Prechtel also had a wonderful career at Stanford, accumulating 578 points, 437 rebounds, 93 assists, 98 blocks and 37 steals in 1447 minutes of playtime. The former five-star recruit shot 43% from the field and 32.5% from beyond the arc. Her career accolades include 2020 Sixth Player of the Year, Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honorable mention and two-time Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll. The five-star recruit, like Jones, will be in New York for the draft on Monday.
Guard Hannah Jump decided to use her extra year of eligibility and represent the Cardinal for another season. So far, Jump has achieved numerous accolades, including 1000+ career points, 2023 Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year and 2023 College Sports Communicators Academic All-America Second Team. Infamous for her craftiness at three, the Californian shoots 42.1% from no man’s land. In her fifth season, she will be someone that coach Tara VanDerveer relies on to preserve the Cardinal’s foundation.
Forward Fran Belibi has chosen to conclude her basketball career after graduation. In four years with the team, she put forth 862 points, 585 rebounds, 130 assists, 77 blocks and 95 steals. Known as ‘the girl who can dunk’, she looks to retire from basketball and shift her focus to her studies; she will be attending Harvard in the fall. Collectively, the Funky Four enjoyed the 2021 NCAA champion title, three Pac-12 regular season championships and two Pac-12 tournament championships. Each has a lot to look forward to in the near future, and despite their paths diverging after graduation, this group of seniors will share a permanent Stanford legacy as the Funky Four.