NEW YORK, NY (Sept. 9, 2018)– Las VegasAces forward A’ja Wilson has been unanimously selected the 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year, the WNBA announced today. She received all 39 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
Wilson averaged rookie highs of 20.7 points (tied for third in the WNBA), 8.0 rebounds (sixth) and 1.67 blocked shots (sixth) while starting every game that the Aces played in their inaugural season in Las Vegas. She became the second rookie in WNBA history to average at least 20.0 points per game, joining Seimone Augustus (21.9 ppg in 2006).
The 6-4 Wilson shot a rookie-best 46.2 percent from the field and made 77.4 percent from the free throw line. She also set WNBA rookie records for free throws made (192) and attempted (248) in a season.
A 2018 WNBA All-Star selection, Wilson swept all three WNBA Rookie of the Month awards this season. She was also named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week for July 2-8. Behind Wilson, the Aces (14-20) improved their record by six games from the 2017 season.
Wilson scored in double figures in every appearance. She recorded 30 or more points three times, highlighted by a career-high 35 points against the Indiana Fever on June 12. She also registered 10 point-rebound double-doubles, including 25 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to go with six assists against the Seattle Storm on June 19.
The Aces selected Wilson with the No. 1 overall pick of WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm after her standout career at the University of South Carolina, where she was a four-time All-America selection, three-time SEC Player of the Year and the 2017-18 consensus National Player of the Year.
Wilson follows former college teammate Allisha Gray of the Dallas Wings as the second consecutive South Carolina alum to win WNBA Rookie of the Year.
In honor of being named the 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year, Wilson will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.
WNBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
|2018||A’ja Wilson||Las Vegas Aces|
|2017||Allisha Gray||Dallas Wings|
|2016||Breanna Stewart||Seattle Storm|
|2015||Jewell Loyd||Seattle Storm|
|2014||Chiney Ogwumike||Connecticut Sun|
|2013||Elene Delle Donne||Chicago Sky|
|2012||Nneka Ogwuike||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2011||Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|2010||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun|
|2009||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream|
|2008||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2007||Armintie Price||Chicago Sky|
|2006||Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|2005||Temeka Johnson||Washington Mystics|
|2004||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|2003||Cheryl Ford||Detroit Shock|
|2002||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever|
|2001||Jackie Stiles||Portland Fire|
|2000||Betty Lennox||Minnesota Lynx|
|1999||Chamique Holdsclaw||Washington Mystics|
|1998||Tracy Reid||Charlotte Sting|
Wilson was also a unanimous selection to the WNBA All-Rookie Team. The 2018 WNBA All-Rookie Team also features Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins, Chicago Sky guard Diamond DeShields, Dallas Wings forward/center Azurá Stevens and Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell.
Wilson, Atkins and DeShields earned the maximum 11 votes from a panel of the WNBA’s 12 head coaches, who each selected five players regardless of position and were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Stevens received eight votes and Mitchell seven votes.
|A’ja Wilson||Las Vegas Aces||11 votes|
|Ariel Atkins||Washington Mystics||11 votes|
|Diamond DeShields||Chicago Sky||11 votes|
|Azura Stevens||Dallas Wings||8 votes|
|Kelsey Mitchell||Indiana Fever||7 votes|
About the WNBA
The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. The league, which counts Verizon as its league-wide marquee partner, began its 22ndplayoffs on Aug. 21, 2018.
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