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Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson Named WNBA Rookie of the Year

A’ja Wilson. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Las Vegas Aces forward/center 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 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.

Below is the list of WNBA Rookie of the Year winners.

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 Elena Delle Donne Chicago Sky
2012 Nneka Ogwumike 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

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 leaguewide marquee partner, began its 22nd playoffs on Aug. 21, 2018.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information about the WNBA, visit WNBA.com.

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