WNBA vs. NBA draft eligibility

Fans have been speculating as to whether or not Baylor star Brittney Griner would forego her senior year to enter the 2012 WNBA draft in a few months. The question is, could she be eligible? I took the query to the offices of the WNBA and NBA, and below are the stipulations as they were sent to me.

It looks like Griner couldn’t enter this year’s draft, because she won’t be 22 until October (unless she was a candidate for early graduation). If Griner were a male, however, it appears she’d only have to be 19 to be drafted.

WNBA DRAFT 2011 Eligibility

A player is eligible to be selected in the Draft at the earliest
occurrence of the following: A. She had (or will have) her 22nd
birthday during the calendar year in which the draft is held, and she
either has no remaining intercollegiate eligibility or renounces her
remaining intercollegiate eligibility by written notice to the WNBA at
least ten days prior to such draft. B. She has graduated from a
four-year college or university, or “is to graduate” from such college
or university during the three-month period following such draft and
she either has no remaining intercollegiate eligibility or renounces
her remaining intercollegiate eligibility by written notice to the
WNBA at least ten days prior to such draft. For the purpose of this
subsection B, “is to graduate” means that such player would graduate
from the college or university she is currently enrolled in if she
were to successfully complete the coursework she is enrolled in at the
time of such draft and such course load is commensurate with previous
course loads she has successfully completed. C. She attended a
four-year college or university, her original class in such college or
university has already been graduated or “is to graduate” during the
three-month period following such draft, and she either has no
remaining intercollegiate eligibility or renounces her remaining
intercollegiate eligibility by written notice to the WNBA at least ten
days prior to such draft. For the purpose of this subsection C, “is
to graduate” means that the majority of the students in such class
would graduate from such college or university upon successful
completion of the coursework the members of such class are enrolled in
at the time of such draft. D. She is an international player (meaning a
player who was born and resides outside of the United States) who has
had (or will have) her 20th birthday during the calendar year in which
the draft is held. E. The league will circulate a list of any otherwise
eligible players who renounce their remaining intercollegiate
eligibility on April 4. Please note that a player who: (i) is
competing in the NCAA tournament during the period that begins ten
days prior to the draft; (ii) has remaining intercollegiate
eligibility beyond the 2010-11 season; and (iii) is otherwise eligible
for the draft, may make herself eligible for the draft by renouncing
her remaining intercollegiate eligibility within the period beginning
at the conclusion of her final NCAA game and ending twenty-four hours
thereafter. If any such players still playing on April 4 renounce
their remaining intercollegiate eligibility, we will circulate a
second eligibility e-mail as soon as we receive written confirmation
of the renouncement.

NBA Draft Eligibility

section 1. Player Eligibility.
(a) No player may sign a Contract or play in the NBA unless he has been
eligible for
selection in at least one (1) NBA Draft. No player shall be eligible for
selection in more
than two (2) NBA Drafts.
(b) A player shall be eligible for selection in the first NBA Draft with
respect to which
he has satisfied all applicable requirements of Section 1(b)(i) below and
one of the
requirements of Section 1(b)(ii) below:
(i) The player (A) is or will be at least 19 years of age during the
calendar year in
which the Draft is held, and (B) with respect to a player who is not an
international
player (defined below), at least one (1) NBA Season has elapsed since the
player’s
graduation from high school (or, if the player did not graduate from high
school,
since the graduation of the class with which the player would have
graduated had he
graduated from high school); and
(ii)
(A) The player has graduated from a four-year college or university in the
United
States (or is to graduate in the calendar year in which the Draft is held)
and has no
remaining intercollegiate basketball eligibility; or
(B) The player is attending or previously attended a four-year college or
university in
the United States, his original class in such college or university has
graduated (or is
to graduate in the calendar year in which the Draft is held), and he has no
remaining
intercollegiate basketball eligibility; or
(C) The player has graduated from high school in the United States, did not
enroll in
a four-year college or university in the United States, and four calendar
years have
elapsed since such player’s high school graduation; or
(D) The player did not graduate from high school in the United States, and
four calendar years have elapsed since the graduation of the class with which the player
would have graduated had he graduated from high school; or
(E) The player has signed a player contract with a “professional basketball
team not
in the NBA” (defined below) that is located anywhere in the world, and has
rendered
services under such contract prior to the Draft; or
(F) The player has expressed his desire to be selected in the Draft in a
writing
received by the NBA at least sixty (60) days prior to such Draft (an “Early
Entry”
player); or
(G) If the player is an “international player” (defined below), and
notwithstanding anything
contained in subsections (A) through (F) above: 16 (1) The player is or
will be twenty-two (22) years of age during the calendar year of
the Draft; or (2) The player has signed a player contract with a
“professional basketball team not
in the NBA” (defined below) that is located in the United States, and has
rendered
services under such contract prior to the Draft; or
(3) The player has expressed his desire to be selected in the Draft in a
writing
received by the NBA at least sixty (60) days prior to such Draft (an “Early
Entry”
player).
(c) For purposes of this Article X, an “international player” is a player:
(i) who has
maintained a permanent residence outside of the United States for at least
the three
(3) years prior to the Draft, while participating in the game of basketball
as an amateur
or as a professional outside of the United States; (ii) who has never
previously enrolled
in a college or university in the United States; and (iii) who did not
complete high school
in the United States. section 6. application to “Early Entry” Players.
If a player who is eligible for the Draft pursuant to Section 1(b)(ii)(F)
or (b)(ii)(G)(3)
above (an “Early Entry” player) is selected in such Draft by a Team, the
following rules
apply: (a) Subject to Section 6(b) below, if the player does not thereafter
play intercollegiate basketball,
then the Team that drafted him shall, during the period from the date of
such
Draft to the date of the Draft in which the player would, absent his
becoming an Early
Entry player, first have been eligible to be selected, be the only Team
with which the
player may negotiate or sign a Player Contract, provided that such Team
makes a
Required Tender to the player each year by the date specified in Section 4
(a) above. For
purposes hereof, the Draft in which such player would, absent his becoming
an Early Entry
player, first have been eligible to be selected, will be deemed the
“Subsequent Draft” as to
that player, and the rules applicable to a player who has been drafted in a
Subsequent
Draft will apply. If the player, having been selected in a Draft for which
he was eligible as
an Early Entry player, has not signed a Player Contract with the Team that
drafted him in
such Draft following a Required Tender by that Team and is not drafted in
the Subsequent
Draft (as defined in the previous sentence), he shall become a Rookie Free
Agent.
(b) If the player does thereafter play intercollegiate basketball, then the
Team that
drafted him shall retain the exclusive NBA rights to negotiate with and
sign the player
for the period ending one (1) year from the date of the Draft in which the
player would,
absent his becoming an Early Entry player, first have been eligible to be
selected, provided that such Team makes a Required Tender to the player each year by the date
specified in Section 4(a) above. For purposes hereof, the Draft in which
such player
would, absent his becoming an Early Entry player, first have been eligible
to be selected,
will be deemed the “Initial Draft” as to that player. The next NBA Draft
shall be deemed
the “Subsequent Draft” as to that player, and the rules applicable to a
player who has
been drafted in a Subsequent Draft will apply.

1 COMMENT

  1. of course she's age eligible to be drafted. her birthday is in october, which means she will be 22 in the calendar year of the draft. the rule doesn't say the player has to be 22 before the draft, only in the calendar year.

    her situation is no different than diggins or edd.

    scullyfu

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