Every basketball player dreams of hearing their name called and making the draft day walk on stage, but no matter how many times they dream about it or think about it, it still feels surreal.
It’s been the theme of Maddy Siegrist’s career. With each passing year she found a new way to raise the bar and shatter expectations, plus program and Big East records, too.
Siegrist became the highest-drafted Wildcat in women’s basketball history and only the second in program history — first since Trish Juhline was selected 32nd overall in the third round of the 2003 WNBA Draft — when she was selected third overall by the Dallas Wings in the 2023 WNBA Draft.
“It’s a dream come true,” Siegrist said. “I can’t even put it into words right now, it’s like a million things going through your mind, but I’ve been surrounded by such good people, good teammates and I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Once under-recruited coming out of high school, then a foot injury that forced her to redshirt her freshman year, Siegrist had an astronomical rise over the last few years.
Her Division I prospects were limited coming out of high school, but nearly five years later, she was near the top of WNBA Mock Drafts and No. 1 on various WNBA teams’ draft boards.
“I love Villanova, I’ve got a home there, but nothing lasts forever,” Siegrist said. “It really felt like God opened the door and it was time for me to go through.”
She became the highest-drafted player to the WNBA in Philadelphia City Six history.
It was the perfect ending to Siegrist’s chapter as a Wildcat and now the start of her journey as a professional player.
The Dallas Wings went 18-18 overall last season and lost in the opening round of the WNBA Playoffs to the Connecticut Suns.
Siegrist helped the Wildcats finish 30-7 overall this season and reach their second-ever Sweet 16 program appearance in program history, with the other being back in 2003.
The 6-foot-1 forward led the country in scoring at 29.2 points per game, ahead of National Player of the Year Caitlin Clark of Iowa and other top-five finishers, like Drexel’s Keishana Washington, DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow and LSU’s Angel Reese. She also grabbed 9.2 rebounds per game, shot an efficient 51.0% overall and 36.1% from beyond the arc.
“I think I have a really high motor, so just moving around the ball,” said Siegrist on how she feels her game will translate to the WNBA. “Moving on both sides of the ball, defense and offense, just trying to do all the little plays.”
Back on Jan. 21, she became Villanova’s all-time leading scorer in a win over Creighton.
She’s the university’s leading scorer — men’s or women’s basketball history — breaking 1987 graduate Shelly Pennefather’s record of 2,408 points while already surpassing men’s record holder Kerry Kittles, who racked up 2,243 points throughout his time with the ‘Cats. The official record stands at 2,896 points.
Her record-filled season also included becoming the first Villanova women’s basketball player to land on the AP All-America first team.
She also repeated as Big East Player of the Year, and broke the record for the conference’s all-time leading scorer in men’s or women’s basketball.
Siegrist scored 20 or more points in all 37 of the Wildcats’ games this season. Her 37-game streak of 20-point outings surpassed the previous record set by Kelsey Plum, and Siegrist now has the highest streak in Division I men’s or women’s college basketball this century.
“I’ve learned so much, but just believing in yourself and surrounding yourself with good people — you can do anything,” Siegrist said. “Definitely (will miss) the people — my coaches, teammates and the administration, all the people at Villanova. It’s such a family, such a community, but just knowing that I’ll have them for the rest of my life makes it a little easier.”