Barack Obama's niece drafted by the New York Liberty

Leslie Robinson (L) is Barack Obama’s niece, and now she’s been drafted by the New York Liberty of the WNBA. (AP Photo)
Leslie Robinson (L) is Barack Obama’s niece, and now she’s been drafted by the New York Liberty of the WNBA. (AP Photo)

The 2018 WNBA draft was held Thursday night, and 36 women had a life-changing moment when their names were called from a podium in New York. One of those women was Leslie Robinson. Robinson is about to graduate from Princeton, and the New York Liberty chose her with the 34th pick in the draft (the tenth pick of the third round). She’s just the second woman ever to be drafted into the WNBA from an Ivy League school.

Oh, and she’s also Barack Obama’s niece.

Robinson is the daughter of Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson. The former president has even sat in the stands to watch her play.

That was at the 2015 NCAA women’s basketball tournament, when Princeton defeated Green Bay to remain undefeated. And just a few days after that photo was tweeted, an unknown person threatened Robinson in an eight-minute voicemail. Additional security was put into place for Princeton’s second-round game against Maryland, and nothing came of the threat.

Robinson has had a stellar career at Princeton. She’s played 112 games for the Tigers, 10th most in school history, and her 129 rebounds this season is sixth on Princeton’s all-time list. Here’s a nugget from Go Princeton Tigers about one of her last-ever home games.

In her second to last career home outing, Robinson registered one of the greatest games in Ivy history, securing what is believed to be program’s first triple double against Brown (Mar. 2), scoring 10 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists.

Now that’s how you say goodbye to your college career.

Robinson told Go Princeton Tigers that she’s excited to take the next step and become a professional basketball player.

“When I first heard the news and saw the television, it was surreal,” said Robinson. “This is something that we, as young women, think about forever and for it to come true is amazing. I am so happy that I could be with my team on this night – the people who helped me get here and grow as a person and a player. I am so excited for what is next. Go Liberty!”

Good luck, Leslie!

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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