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Former Harvard Basketball Star McKenzie Forbes ’23 Selected in WNBA Draft

Harvard's women's basektball alum McKenzie Forbes '23 was selected in the third round of the WNBA draft on Tuesday.
Harvard's women's basektball alum McKenzie Forbes '23 was selected in the third round of the WNBA draft on Tuesday. By Owen A. Berger

Former Harvard women’s basketball star McKenzie Forbes ’23, who played two seasons for the Crimson before finishing her career at USC, was selected in the third round of the WNBA draft on Tuesday night.

Forbes’ selection makes her the third Crimson player in school history to be selected in the draft, joining Temi Fagbenle ’15 and Alison Feaster ’98.

Across two seasons playing for Harvard, Forbes averaged 13.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. A high-volume scoring machine, Forbes averaged more than 12 field goal attempts per game during her senior season in 2023, when she captained the team. The highlight of her Crimson career came in an overtime win against Columbia on March 10, 2023, when she made five three-pointers to headline a 27-point performance, with nine of those points coming in the deciding period.

Forbes’ path to Harvard was anything but ordinary. The Folsom, Calif. native played the 2018-2019 season for the University of California Berkeley, transferred to Harvard, and then sat out the next two seasons due to eligibility constraints and the pandemic, but she quickly found a home in Cambridge. Raised in a family of considerable basketball prowess — her brother Mason Forbes ’22 was a 6-8 forward for the Crimson and her grandfather, Sterling Forbes, Sr., was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers — Forbes quickly became an essential part of Harvard’s most successful season in program history last year.

In her one year in Los Angeles, Forbes continued to be hyper-productive, averaging 14.3 points per game and scoring 26 points in the Pac-12 Championship to help the Trojans win the conference for the first time since 2014.

Now, Forbes won’t have to move far when she becomes a professional, as she will stay in southern California and look to be the spark plug for a Sparks team that is seeking its first playoff berth since 2020.

—Staff writer Jack K. Silvers can be reached at

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