NEW YORK – Edwardsville native Kate Martin gets her call to women’s professional basketball.

The Las Vegas Aces selected Martin with the 18th overall pick in the WNBA Draft on Monday evening. She joins the defending WNBA Champions.

“There are a lot of emotions right now,” Martin said in an interview on ESPN after her draft selection. “I’m really happy to be here. I was here to support Caitlin [Clark], but I was hoping to hear my name called. All I wanted was an opportunity and I got it. I’m really excited.”

Martin was a key player on the Iowa Hawkeyes squad that finished as the runner-up in the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. She helped Iowa reach the NCAA title game for the second straight season, finishing her college career with 1,299 points, 756 rebounds and 473 assists.

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Martin played high school basketball in her hometown Edwardsville, where she earned honors as an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association first-team all-state selection and finished as a runner-up to a state championship.

“I’m super excited for the opportunity. I have a really good work ethic,” Martin said via ESPN.

Martin grew close with teammate and women’s college basketball sensation Caitlin Clark over the last several years. Clark, who set the NCAA Division I scoring record this season with Iowa, was the first overall pick in this year’s WNBA Draft. She was selected by the Indiana Fever.

Clark and Martin also made surprise appearances on last weekend’s edition of Saturday Night Live, both appearing for the sendoff.

With Clark and Martin drafted, Iowa had two players selected in the draft for the first time since 1998. The WNBA will open training camp on April 28. The season starts May 14.