Becky Hammon Wins WNBA Coach of the Year; Here's a Look at the 16 Other Coaches to Win the Award

Becky Hammon Wins WNBA Coach of the Year; Here’s a Look at the 16 Other Coaches to Win the Award

In just her first year as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces, Becky Hammon was named the 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year. She earned 27 votes (out of 56), with Tanisha Wright (Atlanta Dream) coming in second with 18 votes and James Wade (Chicago Sky) earning eight votes.

In doing so, Hammon becomes the third former player to win WNBA Coach of the Year – though she’s the first to do it in her first year and the first to do it with her former team. She spent eight years with the San Antonio Silver Stars before the team moved to Las Vegas a few years ago.

After retiring from the WNBA in 2014, Hammon joined the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach – the second female to do so in NBA history. She also became the first female acting head coach in NBA history in 2020 before being hired by the Las Vegas Aces last offseason. 

RELATED: Rhyne Howard Becomes 25th Player to Win WNBA Rookie of the Year; Who Are the Others?

Past Winners of the WNBA Coach of the Year Award

Becky Hammon Wins WNBA Coach of the Year; Here's a Look at the 16 Other Coaches to Win the Award
via Instagram (@lvaces)

The WNBA Coach of the Year award has been handed out to the league’s top coach since the inaugural season in 1997. A panel of writers cast their votes, with coaches receiving five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.

Since 1997, the WNBA Coach of the Year award has been handed out 26 times – six coaches have won the award multiple times. Not only that, but six of the coaches have gone on to win the WNBA Finals – something Becky Hammon has a chance to do with the Aces this season.

After leading her team to a 26-10 record this regular season, Hammon has the Aces just one win away from a Finals berth – they’re so close, but she has to keep them focused. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the other coaches to win WNBA Coach of the Year. 

16. Van Chancellor (1999, 1998, 1997)

Van Chancellor won the inaugural WNBA Coach of the Year award in 1997 after leading the Houston Comets to an 18-10 record. He won it again in 1998 with a 27-3 record and again in 1999 with a 26-6 record – also winning the championship each year (and again in 2000). 

It was an extremely impressive four-year run for the head coach. He went on to coach the team until 2006, winning 18+ games in five of the next six seasons. He also coached the women’s national team to two gold medals – 2002 FIBA World Championships and 2004 Olympics. 

15. Michael Cooper (2000)

Michael Cooper won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2000 – the first coach not named Chancellor to win the award. He led the Los Angeles Sparks to a 28-4 record in his first year as head coach. Despite an impressive season, the Sparks lost in the 2000 Conference Finals. 

Don’t worry, they fought back and finished 28-4 in 2001 and 25-7 in 2002 – winning the title both years. They made it to the WNBA Finals a third consecutive time in 2003, but lost to the Detroit Shock. After several mediocre seasons, he went on to coach the Atlanta Dream for four years.

14. Marianne Stanley (2002)

Marianne Stanley won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2002 by leading the Washington Mystics to a 17-15 record in her first year as head coach. Although the team finished in third place in the East, they made it all the way to the Conference Finals – losing to the Lynx. 

Unfortunately, Stanley had a disappointing season the following year, going just 9-25 with the Mystics. She didn’t return after the 2003 season, but eventually made a comeback in 2020 when she signed with the Indiana Fever. It didn’t go well, leading them to a 14-49 record. 

13. Suzie McConnell-Serio (2004)

Suzie McConnell-Serio won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2004 after leading the Minnesota Lynx to an 18-16 record in her second season with the team – though they went just 0-2 in the playoffs. This was after a similar 18-6 finish the year before, going 1-2 in the playoffs.

Over the next two years, McConnell-Serio led the Lynx to just a 22-35 record – failing to make the playoffs each year. She was also a former WNBA player, as well as the women’s basketball head coach at Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh between 2007 and 2018. 

12. John Whisenant (2005)

John Whisenant won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2005 by leading the Sacramento Monarchs to a 25-9 season – it was the best season of his head coaching career. Not only that, but the Monarchs went on to win the championship that season, going 7-1 in the playoffs.

Whisenant had another impressive season in 2006, leading the Monarchs to a 21-13 record and a Western Conference Championship. After a disappointing year in 2009, he was named head coach of the New York Liberty – he led them to a 34-34 record in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

11. Dan Hughes (2007, 2001)

Dan Hughes first won WNBA Coach of the Year in 2001 after leading the Cleveland Rockers to a 22-10 record. In 2007, he became the first coach since Van Chancellor to win the award twice (first to do so with two teams), leading the San Antonio Silver Stars to a 20-14 record.

Hughes has been a mainstay in the WNBA community since 1999. In addition to the Rockers and Silver Stars, he also coached the Charlotte Sting and Seattle Storm – who he won a title with in 2018. He has a career 286-312 record as a head coach in the WNBA (598 games).

10. Marynell Meadors (2009)

Marynell Meadors won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2009 after leading the Atlanta Dream to an 18-16 record. The record might not look impressive, but it came after a year that saw the Dream win just 4 games. At the time, it was the biggest turnaround in WNBA history. 

Leading up to that 2009 season, Meadors had just a 42-62 record as head coach in the WNBA. In the three years following that 2009 season, she led the Dream to a 51-41 record – including two Eastern Conference titles. She also coached at Florida State University and Texas Tech. 

9. Brian Agler (2010)

Brian Agler won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2010 after leading the Seattle Storm to a 28-6 record. They not only finished the season as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but they went 7-0 in the playoffs en route to a WNBA Championship – it was a special season.

Agler has been a head coach for the Lynx, Storm, Sparks, and Wings between 1999 and 2020 – though he was an assistant between 2004 and 2007. He won another WNBA title in 2016 with the Sparks, leading them to a 26-8 record in the regular season and 6-3 record in the playoffs.

8. Carol Ross (2012)

Carol Ross won the WNBA Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading the Los Angeles Sparks to a 24-10 record in her first year with the team. They went 2-2 in the playoffs, but failed to make it past the second round. She was previously the college head coach at Florida and Ole Miss. 

In 2013, she proved that her first season in LA wasn’t a fluke – leading the team to yet another 24-10 record in the regular season. Unfortunately, the team once again flopped in the playoffs. She was fired during the 2014 season after the team posted a 10-12 record through 22 games.

7. Mike Thibault (2013, 2008, 2006)

Mike Thibault first won WNBA Coach of the Year in 2006 with the Connecticut Sun by leading the team to a 26-8 record. He won the award a second time with the Sun in 2008, leading the team to a 21-13 record. Unfortunately, neither of those teams had much success in the playoffs.

Thibault left the Sun after the 2012 season and signed with the Washington Mystics. Despite the team having just five wins the season before, he led them to a 17-17 record – winning his third Coach of the Year award. He won a title with them in 2019 and is still head coach of the team. 

6. Sandy Brondello (2014)

Sandy Brondello won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2014 after leading the Phoenix Mercury to a 29-5 record in her first year as head coach – they went 7-1 in the playoffs and won the title that season. It was an improvement after her 14-20 record in San Antonio in 2010.

Brondello spent the next seven seasons in Phoenix, making it to the playoffs each season and making it to the WNBA Finals for a second time in 2021. She chose not to re-sign with the team and instead signed with the New York Liberty – leading them to a 16-20 record this season.

5. Bill Laimbeer (2015, 2003)

Bill Laimbeer first won WNBA Coach of the Year in 2003 after leading the Detroit Shock to a 25-9 record in his second season with the team – they also won the championship that year, despite having just nine wins the year before. He won three titles between 2003 and 2008.

Laimbeer left the Shock early in the 2009 season in hopes of landing an NBA coaching job. He returned to the WNBA in 2013 as head coach of the New York Liberty. In 2015, he won his second award after leading the Liberty to a 23-11 record. He has 306 wins as a head coach. 

4. Nicki Collen (2018)

Nicki Collen won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2018 after leading the Atlanta Dream to a 23-11 record in her first season with the team – they were just 12-22 the year before. They went 2-3 in the playoffs, but lost to the Washington Mystics in five games in the semifinals. 

Collen spent the next two seasons with the team, leading them to an abysmal 15-41 record and failing to make the playoffs both seasons. In 2021, she was hired as head coach at Baylor University – where she led the team to a 28-7 record and a trip to the 2022 March Madness.

3. James Wade (2019)

James Wade won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2019 after leading the Chicago Sky to a 20-14 record in his first year with the team – they were just 13-21 the year before. The Sky went 1-1 in the 2019 WNBA playoffs, losing to the Las Vegas Aces 93-92 in the second round.

Wade went just 28-28 over the next two seasons, but made up for it in the 2021 playoffs – going 8-2 and winning the title by year’s end. The dominance continued this past season, leading the Sky to a 26-10 record in 2022. They’re currently one game away from another Finals berth. 

2. Cheryl Reeve (2020, 2016, 2011)

Cheryl Reeve first won the WNBA Coach of the Year award in 2011 after leading the Minnesota Lynx to a 27-7 record in her second season with the team. She also won the award in 2016 after leading the Lynx to a 28-6 record and again in 2020 after leading the Lynx to a 14-8 record. 

Reeve is a legendary head coach that has been with the Lynx since 2010. During that time, she has led them to a 281-149 record and four WNBA titles between 2011 and 2017. Her team is 41-21 in the playoffs and has only missed the playoffs once since 2010 – doing so in 2022. 

1. Curt Miller (2021, 2017)

Curt Miller very well could be the next head coach to win the award three times. He first won WNBA Coach of the Year in 2017 after leading the Connecticut Sun to a 21-13 record in his second season with the team. He won it again last year after leading them to a 26-6 record.

Since missing the playoffs in 2016 (his first season), the Sun have been featured in the playoffs every single year. They made it to the WNBA Finals in 2019, but lost to the Washington Mystics. He has led the team to at least 21 wins in five of the past six seasons, which is impressive. 

Who Might Win WNBA Coach of the Year in 2023?

Becky Hammon Wins WNBA Coach of the Year; Here's a Look at the 16 Other Coaches to Win the Award
via Instagram (@cocowade)

While things weren’t even close to being unanimous, Becky Hammon was the clear frontrunner to win WNBA Coach of the Year this season. Her team was tough to beat and she had them prepared for every game, which isn’t always easy for a first-year head coach  – but she thrived.

As we look ahead to next season, it could be anyone’s award. Sure, Hammon could certainly win it again – I wouldn’t be that surprised, especially since her team is going to be good for a long time. With that said, there are some other coaches that might find themselves winning it. 

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For example, Tanisha Wright and James Wade (who won it in 2019) were runner-ups this season and could be in line for improvements next season. We also can’t forget about 2014 WNBA COY winner Sandy Brondello (New York Liberty) and Noelle Quinn (Seattle Storm). 

Rhyne Howard Becomes 25th Player to Win WNBA Rookie of the Year; Who Are the Others?

After a stellar 2022 campaign, Atlanta Dream guard Rhyne Howard has been named the WNBA Rookie of the Year. She received 53 of the possible 56 votes – with Shakira Austin (Washington Mystics) receiving two votes and NaLyssa Smith (Indiana Fever) receiving one. 

Howard finished the year averaging 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 31.4 minutes per game – she played in 34 games. In addition to winning WNBA Rookie of the Year, she was the Rookie of the Month in May, June, July, and August. 

That’s not all for the 22-year-old guard, who also earned Player of the Week honors in the middle of May and All-Star honors earlier in the season. This all comes after a stellar four-year career at the University of Kentucky, where she was a three-time 1st-Team AP All-American.

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Past Winners of the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award

Rhyne Howard Becomes 25th Player to Win WNBA Rookie of the Year; Who Are the Others?
via Instagram (@aja22wilson)

Rhyne Howard became the 25th player to win WNBA Rookie of the Year and just the second Atlanta Dream player to accomplish the feat – with Angel McCoughtry doing so in 2009. For players that are just getting settled as a professional, this award acts as major confirmation. 

In fact, there’s no better way to start your career than by winning the WNBA Rookie of the Year award. It not only shows you have the skill and talent to compete at a high level, but it shows how determined and committed you are to playing at a high level for many years to come.

For Rhyne Howard, this is only the beginning of what will be a long and fruitful career in the WNBA. To honor the many players that came before her, let’s take a look at the other 24 women to be named WNBA Rookie of the Year – starting in 1998, the WNBA’s second season.

24. Tracy Reid in 1998

Rookie Year: 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.4 blocks per game (30 games)

Career: 7.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals, nd 0.3 blocks per game (116 games)

Tracy Reid played college ball at the University of North Carolina before being drafted seventh overall by the Charlotte Sting in 1998. While she had an impressive rookie campaign with 13.8 points per game, she failed to duplicate that energy in any of her other five seasons in the WNBA. 

23. Chamique Holdsclaw in 1999

Rookie Year: 16.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.9 blocks per game (31 games)

Career: 16.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks per game (279 games)

Chamique Holdsclaw played college basketball at the University of Tennessee before being drafted by the Washington Mystics with the first overall pick in 1999. She was a six-time All-Star, including the first five years of her career, and averaged a career-best 20.5 points per game in 2003.

22. Betty Lennox in 2000

Rookie Year: 16.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.3 blocks per game (32 games)

Career: 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks per game (320 games)

Betty Lennox played college basketball at Louisiana Tech University before being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx with the sixth overall pick in 2000. She went on to play 12 years in the WNBA and averaged at least 10 points per game nine times – including 17.5 points per game in 2008.   

21. Jackie Stiles in 2001

Rookie Year: 14.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.1 blocks per game (32 games)

Career: 11.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.1 blocks per game (53 games)

Jackie Stiles played college basketball at Missouri State University before being drafted by the Portland Fire with the fourth overall pick in 2001. She played in 21 games for the team in 2002, but numerous injuries caused her to eventually retire. In 2012, she began a career in coaching.

20. Tamika Catchings in 2002

Rookie Year: 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.9 steals, 1.3 blocks per game (32 games)

Career: 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.4 steals, 0.8 blocks per game (457 games)

Tamika Catchings played college basketball at the University of Tennessee before being drafted by the Indiana Fever with the third overall pick in 2001 – though she didn’t make her debut until 2002. She was a 10-time All-Star, the 2011 league MVP, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

19. Cheryl Ford in 2003

Rookie Year: 10.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks per game (32 games) 

Career: 10.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.8 blocks per game (196 games)

Cheryl Ford played college basketball at Louisiana Tech University before being drafted by the Detroit Shock with the third overall pick in 2003. The four-time All-Star and 2007 All-Star MVP spent her entire seven-year career with the Shock and averaged a double-double three times. 

18. Diana Taurasi in 2004

Rookie Year: 17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 19.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks per game (503 games)

Diana Taurasi played college basketball at the University of Connecticut before being drafted by the Phoenix Mercury with the first overall pick in 2004. The one-time MVP has spent her entire 18-year career with Phoenix and averaged a career-best 25.3 points per game in 2006. 

17. Temeka Johnson in 2005

Rookie Year: 9.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.3 steals per game (34 games)

Career: 8.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.1 blocks per game (327 games)

Temeka Johnson played college basketball at Louisiana State University (LSU) before being drafted by the Washington Mystics with the sixth overall pick in 2005. She spent 11 seasons in the WNBA with five different teams, averaging more than 10 points per game in 2012 and 2013.

16. Seimone Augustus in 2006

Rookie Year: 21.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 15.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks per game (391 games)

Seimone Augustus played college basketball at Louisiana State University (LSU) before being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx with the first overall pick in 2006. She averaged at least 21.0 points per game in three of her first four seasons and was an eight-time All-Star in the WNBA.

15. Armintie Price in 2007

Rookie Year: 7.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.2 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 5.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game (290 games)

Armintie Price played college ball at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) before being drafted by the Chicago Sky with the third overall pick in 2007. She spent nine seasons in the WNBA with four different teams, but never managed to score more than 8.5 points per game. 

14. Candace Parker in 2008

Rookie Year: 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.3 blocks per game (33 games)

Career: 16.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.5 blocks per game (392 games)

Candace Parker played college basketball at the University of Tennessee before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2008. She has averaged at least 11.2 points per game in each of her 15 seasons and is a seven-time All-Star, two-time MVP, and 2013 All-Star MVP.

13. Angel McCoughtry in 2009

Rookie Year: 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.4 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 18.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.6 blocks per game (311 games)

Angel McCoughtry played college basketball at the University of Louisville before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Atlanta Dream in 2009. After an impressive rookie season – mostly coming off the bench – the five-time All-Star scored at least 20 points per game in five of her next six seasons. 

12. Tina Charles in 2010

Rookie Year: 15.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.7 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 18.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.0 blocks per game (391 games) 

Tina Charles played college basketball at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) before going No. 1 overall by the Connecticut Sun in 2010. She averaged at least 15 points per game in each of her first 11 seasons – she had 14.8 points per game in 2022. She’s an eight-time All-Star and was named MVP in 2012. 

11. Maya Moore in 2011

Rookie Year: 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 18.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.6 blocks per game (271 games)

Maya Moore played college basketball at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) before going No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Lynx in 2011. The six-time All-Star (three-time All-Star MVP) spent her entire eight-year career with the Lynx and had a career-high 23.9 points per game in 2014 – a year she was named MVP. 

10. Nneka Ogwumike in 2012

Rookie Year: 14.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.9 blocks per game (33 games)

Career: 16.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1. Steals, 0.6 blocks per game (320 games)

Nneka Ogwumike played college basketball at Stanford University before going No. 1 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012. The six-time All-Star has spent her entire 11-year career with the Sparks and has averaged at least 13.3 points per game in each season – including 18.1 points per game in 2022. 

9. Elena Delle Donne in 2013

Rookie Year: 18.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.8 blocks per game (30 games)

Career: 19.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.5 blocks per game (218 games)

Elena Delle Donne played college basketball at the University of Delaware before going No. 2 overall to the Chicago Sky in the 2013 draft. During her nine-year career in the WNBA, she has averaged at least 20 points per game three times. She’s a two-time MVP and six-time All-Star. 

8. Chiney Ogwumike in 2014

Rookie Year: 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.2 blocks per game (31 games)

Career: 11.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks per game (160 games)

Chiney Ogwumike, the younger sister of Nneka Ogwumike, played college ball at Stanford University before going No. 1 overall to the Connecticut Sun in 2014. She averaged at least 12.6 points per game in each of her first three seasons, but her production has dropped since then – she also works full-time as an ESPN analyst.

7. Jewell Loyd in 2015

Rookie Year: 10.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.2 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.2 blocks per game (252 games)

Jewell Loyd played college basketball at the University of Notre Dame before going No. 1 overall to the Seattle Storm in 2015. After an impressive rookie season, she has averaged at least 15 points per game in six of the past seven seasons – she was also named an All-Star in four of the past five years.

6. Breanna Stewart in 2016

Rookie Year: 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.9 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 20.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.5 blocks per game (183 games)

Breanna Stewart played college basketball at UCONN before going No. 1 overall to the Seattle Storm in 2016. She has averaged more than 20 points per game in three of the past four years – coming close in 2017 (19.9 points) and 2020 (19.7 points). The four-time All-Star was named MVP in 2008. 

5. Allisha Gray in 2017

Rookie Year: 13.0 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.6 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks per game (180 games)

Allisha Gray played college ball at the University of North Carolina and University of South Carolina before going No. 4 overall to the Dallas Wings in 2017. She has been a consistent player for the team ever since, putting up 13.3 points per game in 2022. She’s still waiting for her first All-Star nod. 

4. A’ja Wilson in 2018

Rookie Year: 20.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.7 blocks per game (33 games)

Career: 19.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.7 blocks per game (149 games)

A’ja Wilson played college basketball at the University of South Carolina before going No. 1 overall to the Las Vegas Aces in 2018. She has been one of the best players in the WNBA ever since – earning four All-Star nods, being named MVP in 2020, and Defensive Player of the Year in 2022.

3. Napheesa Collier in 2019

Rookie Year: 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals, 0.9 blocks per game (34 games)

Career: 14.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.1 blocks per game (89 games)

Napheesa Collier played college basketball at UCONN before going No. 6 overall to the Minnesota Lynx in 2019. She was named an All-Star in 2019 (13.1 points) and 2021 – after putting up a career-best 16.2 points per game. She only played four games this season after having her first child. .

2. Crystal Dangerfield in 2020

Rookie Year: 16.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals per game (21 games)

Career: 8.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.1 blocks per game (85 games)

Crystal Dangerfield played college ball at UCONN before being drafted by the Minnesota Lynx in the second round of the 2020 draft. She became the first second round draft pick to win Rookie of the Year, but her production has dropped since then. She ‘s currently a starter for the New York Liberty.

1. Michaela Onyenwere in 2021

Rookie Year: 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks per game (32 games)

Career: 6.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.3 blocks per game (66 games)

Michaela Onyenwere played college basketball at UCLA before going No. 6 overall to the New York Liberty in 2021. Her production dropped during the 2022 season, largely due to her coming off the bench – despite starting 29 of 32 games as a rookie. She only played 13.7 minutes per game in 2022.

Who Will Win WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2023?

Rhyne Howard Becomes 25th Player to Win WNBA Rookie of the Year; Who Are the Others?
via Instagram (@paigebueckers)

The WNBA Rookie of the Year wasn’t the only award handed out recently. The Las Vegas Aces saw A’ja Wilson win Defensive Player of the Year, Becky Hammon win Coach of the Year, and Jackie Young win Most Improved Player of the Year. It was an exciting season for all of them.

While four teams are still competing in the 2022 WNBA Playoffs, a majority of teams in the league are now shifting their focus to the 2023 WNBA Draft – where next year’s WNBA Rookie of the Year will be drafted. Which player will go on to win it and which team will draft them? 

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That’s the mystery that will haunt every WNBA team leading up to the draft, but there are definitely some names to keep in mind – like Aliyah Boston, Paige Bueckers, Haley Jones, Diamond Miller, Ashley Joens, Elizabeth Kitley, Ashley Owusu, and Aijha Blackwell

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