Big 12 News

Cyclones’ Stephanie Soares to Enter 2023 WNBA Draft After NCAA Waiver Denied

Iowa State Athletics

After tearing her ACL in early January, Iowa State forward/center Stephanie Soares appealed for an extra year of eligibility, but the NCAA has denied her waiver. So she’ll now enter the upcoming 2023 WNBA Draft, she announced Wednesday.

“It is disappointing that my time with Iowa State women’s basketball has come to an end,” Soares started in a statement via the team’s Twitter account. “Thank you to the Iowa State coaching staff and the Iowa State compliance staff on their effort during the waiver process. I want to again thank my teammates, coaches, doctors, athletic training staff and Iowa State fans for all their support and encouraging words throughout the past few months. Though I was unable to be on the court with you, we will always be Big 12 Champions! My time in Ames was brief, but I will always be a Cyclone!

“I have always had my family and God at my side during challenging times, and that is not changing. With the strength God gives me, I look forward to continuing the rehab process, going through the WNBA Draft process and returning to the basketball court when the time is right.”


Soares, a senior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, joined the Cyclones last summer after four years at The Master’s University at the NAIA level. In 13 games for Iowa State prior to her Jan. 8 injury at Oklahoma, she averaged 14.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. Soares recorded eight double-doubles and was shooting it at a 54.4% clip from the field.

She opened the season with a bang, notching an electric one of those double-doubles of 15 points and 14 rebounds against Cleveland State on Nov. 7. A couple of her other highlights featured 23 points, 11 rebounds and a career-best six blocks against Michigan State at the Phil Knight Invitational on Nov. 24 and the sixth 20-rebound game in Iowa State history on Jan. 4 against West Virginia.


Surprisingly ousted 80-73 by Toledo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Cyclones finished the year at 22-10. They won the Big 12 Tournament Championship with a 61-51 victory over Texas.

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