Michaela Onyenwere was named 2021 WNBA Rookie of the Year on Tuesday, earning a 47 out of 49 possible votes.
It’s official! The worst kept secret of the season is finally confirmed! @monyenwere_ is your 2021 @wnba Rookie of the Year— the first in franchise history! 🏆 🧹 #OwntheCrown pic.twitter.com/4ryXvhmgv3— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) October 5, 2021
It’s official! The worst kept secret of the season is finally confirmed! @monyenwere_ is your 2021 @wnba Rookie of the Year— the first in franchise history! 🏆 🧹 #OwntheCrown pic.twitter.com/4ryXvhmgv3
She is the first New York Liberty player to earn the award.
Onyenwere established herself early on, sweeping the monthly rookie honors all season long after being drafted sixth-overall out of UCLA.
In all 32 regular season games for New York, the forward averaged 8.6 points (first among rookies) and 2.9 rebounds (second). Additionally she ranked first in made field goals (91) and 3-pointers (37).
“Michaela is one of the most unselfish, hardest working young players I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,” Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins said in a team release. “Winning our franchise’s first ever Rookie of the Year award is a massive accomplishment in its own right, but the most impressive part is the fact that Mic never chased stats or sought recognition.
“She was able to get herself to this point by simply doing what her team needed her to do every single day. We couldn’t be more proud of her, and we’re beyond thankful to have her with us on this journey.”
Rounding out the 2021 All-Rookie Team are Onyenwere’s teammate Didi Richards, Dallas’ Charli Collier, Atlanta’s Aari McDonald and Chicago’s Dana Evans.