Signed to a training camp contract in early February, Chanelle Molina will be blazing a trail with the Indiana Fever.
“I will be making history by being the first ever Filipino to play in the WNBA,” Molina stated. “I’m very excited to make history and have that happen. I feel like I’m probably already an inspiration to the Filipinos out there, not just female athletes but Filipinos all over. I think I’ll be representing the Filipino community by making it to the WNBA. So, knowing that I have the Filipino’s community support is very motivating so I am going to do whatever I can to make that happen and a reality.”
However, for Molina, it’s her journey to this moment that has her reflecting.
“Late January, my agent told me he got me a training camp contract,” Molina replied with a smile. “A week later, coach [Marianne] Stanley called me, and she was explained why she picked me, the qualities she liked about me and basically going over how training is going to be. A couple days after that Tamika [Catchings] got in touch with me, and she wanted to get to know me better and start building that relationship.”
Since high school, Molina’s talent has been undeniable. As a prep star, Molina was listed as a five-star recruit by ESPN.com, the No. 36 overall recruit and the 11th-best guard in the 2016 class.
At Washington State, she averaged 12.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during her collegiate career. Molina became the only player in Washington State women’s basketball history to collect over 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.
Fast forward to April 2020, and Molina along her two sisters and few close friends were eagerly anticipating her name being called during the 2020 WNBA Draft, but by the end of the night her name not had not been called.
“Disappointment, anger, sadness, frustration, all of these mixes of emotions just like came running through my head,” Molina said. “It bothered me for a while, … [but] I am firm believer that everything happens for a reason, I actually have that tattooed on my arm, so that was just a good reminder for me. Me not getting drafted happened for a reason, so I just knew that I was going to ball out in Europe.”
Ball out she has. After going undrafted, Molina signed with Norrkoping Dolphins in Sweden. Currently, she is averaging 18.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 34.1 minutes per game.
Now with training camp only a few months away, Molina is excited to get started with Fever as well as finish what she has started overseas.
“It’s a really great opportunity,” Molina stated. “The WNBA is obviously like the ultimate goal for me, it’s always been the dream and for me to have this opportunity gets me one step closer from achieving that dream. So, I am really thankful, really grateful but I still have work to do here overseas. I’m excited for training camp but I’m also just really looking forward to finishing and winning this league [here].”