WNBA futures could be on horizon for Gorecki, Doyle

  • Fremd graduate Haley Gorecki, who just completed her career at Duke, was selected by Seattle in the WNBA Draft.

    Fremd graduate Haley Gorecki, who just completed her career at Duke, was selected by Seattle in the WNBA Draft. Courtesy of Duke University

  • Benet graduate Kathleen Doyle, the Big Ten Player of the Year at Iowa, was chosen by the Indiana Fever in the WNBA Draft.

    Benet graduate Kathleen Doyle, the Big Ten Player of the Year at Iowa, was chosen by the Indiana Fever in the WNBA Draft. Courtesy of Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com

 
 
Updated 4/22/2020 2:11 PM

If there is a WNBA season this summer, the Gorecki family will be ready to make Seattle a second home.

Former Fremd star guard Haley Gorecki recently finished up her career at Duke and last week heard her named called in the 2020 WNBA Draft, by the Seattle Storm with the seventh pick in the third round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

If Gorecki can make the Storm's roster, she'll likely never get homesick.

"My parents came to every single home game while I was at Duke, and a lot of road games, too," said Gorecki, whose parents still live in the Chicago area. "My dad works for American Airlines, so they were able to fly standby a lot.

"I think they would go out (to Seattle) a lot, too."

Gorecki is one of two players from the Daily Herald circulation area who were selected in the WNBA Draft, which was conducted virtually on Friday from the home of WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

Former Benet star guard Kathleen Doyle, who played her college ball at Iowa, was taken with the second pick in the second round (the 14th pick overall) by the Indiana Fever.

The 5-foot-9 Doyle was a four-year starter at Iowa and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year this season. She led the league in assists per game in each of her final three seasons and was among the five finalists for the Drysdale Award as the top shooting guard in Division I.

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"I'm going to be going against the best in the world, but those are the kinds of situations I love to put myself in," Doyle told Hawk Central of getting picked in the WNBA Draft. "People appreciate that competitive fire, and you're going to need it, especially as a rookie in the WNBA. People are going to come at you and try to show you what's up a little bit. I'm ready for it."

So is Gorecki, who was also one of the five finalists for the Drysdale Award. The 6-foot Gorecki was the only Power Five player to average at least 18 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals this season.

"I'm going to be around some really amazing people in Seattle -- Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart," Gorecki said. "I want to be a sponge and take in everything they have to say. But I'm also going to be competing, knowing I'm there to make the roster.

"I think I'm a versatile player, a big guard with length and I can play multiple positions. I can shoot the 3, drive and I don't mind contact. I can see the passing lanes and get my teammates the ball, and I have a high basketball IQ."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Gorecki also has some grit.

She powered through not one, but two serious hip injuries at Duke.

She missed most of her freshman season with a torn labrum in her right hip and a fractured femur in which surgery to put in anchors was necessary. And then she missed all of her redshirt sophomore season in which she had a torn labrum in the other hip.

"I think it's incredible with what I've dealt with in terms of my injuries to be where I am now. It's surreal," Gorecki said. "But I never thought those injuries would end my career. I'm too competitive and I knew that sooner or later, I would get back on the court.

"Basketball is such a big part of my life, and I wasn't going to let injuries stop me. It's definitely a blessing to be back and to be able to play at the highest level."

It's something that Gorecki has been hoping for since she was a kid, watching the Chicago Sky and admiring the game of former Sky star Elena Delle Donne, the most valuable player of the WNBA last season.

"Obviously, there are so many great players in the WNBA and now I'm a part of it, too," Gorecki said. "It's a cool feeling to be part of such a select group. When I was young, I always pictured myself in the WNBA."

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