As Napheesa Collier climbed up UConn women’s basketball’s record books during her senior season in Storrs, she was curiously left off the watch lists for various National Player of the Year awards. Collier made sure not to let that happen again as she won the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year award going away, garnering 29 of the 43 votes. Arike Ogunbowale was the only other player to receive any votes.
Collier becomes just the fifth former Husky to win the award, joining Breanna Stewart (2016), Maya Moore (2011), Tina Charles (2010) and Diana Taurasi (2004). The O’Fallon, Missouri native was also a unanimous All-Rookie Team selection.
The No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft, Collier led the league by playing 33.3 minutes per game while starting all 34 contests. She averaged 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.91 steals and 0.94 blocked shots per game in addition to shooting 49% from the field.
Not only did Collier have a strong rookie season, she had one of the best all-around seasons in league history, period. She become the fourth player in league history to notch at least 400 points, 200 rebounds, 75 assists, 50 steals, 25 blocks and 25 three-pointers in a season, joining the likes of Maya Moore, Tamika Catchings and Sheryl Swoopes.
Collier earned an All Star bid this season in addition to winning the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in July and the Western Conference Player of the Week for Aug. 19-25. She was also named the AP WNBA Rookie of the Year.