Warriors Gaming Drafts Chiquitae126 To Become First Woman In NBA 2K League

Warriors Gaming Drafts Chiquitae126
Warriors Gaming Drafts Chiquitae126 NBA 2K League

In a month that celebrates the achievements and contribution of women, Chiquita "Chiquitae126" Evans has broken a video game gender barrier. She is the first woman to be drafted to the NBA 2K League. Drafted by Warriors Gaming Squad in the fourth round, Chiquita is expected to receive between $33,000 and $37,000 per season in addition to team housing and benefits. The team is run by the Golden State Warriors.

Chiquita was one of two women who were included in this year's draft pool. Brianna “icygrl” Novin was not drafted.

Since last year, league officials have been working to find a way to have a more diverse pool of players. A focus group composed of the game's top female players was conducted by organizers and revealed that when these players out themselves as women, especially when using the mic, they received fewer ball passes. The inclusion of two women in the draft is seen to be a step in the right direction. NBA 2K League Managing Director Brenda Donohue did admit that the league still has a lot of work that needs to be done.

In an interview with NBA 2K League, Evans said that being picked feels surreal and is an amazing experience. She added that women helped her get to this position, as a lot of her friends play the game with her. Evans says her friends have "been pushing me to get through everything, especially when I found out that I made the draft pool."

When asked about her own experience on female players being frozen out of the ball once their gender was discovered, Evans related that she made sure to control what she could. Evans found other ways to make herself valuable, including playing defense, rebounding, and passing to the correct player. She admits that her biggest obstacle is proving herself and to show that she deserves to be part of the league.

The NBA 2K League is the result of a partnership between the National Basketball Association and Take-Two Interactive. The esports league was officially announced in February 2017, with 17 NBA teams establishing their own NBA 2K League teams for the 2018 inaugural season. Knicks Gaming became the inaugural champion. Currently, the league has 21 teams with Atlanta, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Minnesota joining. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA 2K League serves as the NBA’s fourth league which already hosts the NBA, WNBA, and G League. For the 2019 season, Spencer “Ria” Wyman was selected as the No. 1 Overall Pick by Jazz Gaming.

The 2019 NBA 2K League draft board can be viewed here.

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