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    Wednesday, October 6, 2021

    New York Liberty’s Michaela Onyenwere Named 2021 KIA WNBA Rookie of the Year

    New York Liberty forward Michaela Onyenwere has been named the 2021 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year, the WNBA announced. She becomes the first player to win the annual award with the Liberty.

    Onyenwere received 47 votes from a national panel of 49 sportswriters and broadcasters. Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald and Liberty guard/forward DiDi Richards received one vote each.

    Onyenwere averaged 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 22.5 minutes in 32 games (29 starts) this season. She led all WNBA rookies in points per game, field goals made (91) and three-pointers made (37). The 6-foot Onyenwere also ranked second among rookies in total rebounds (94).

    A regular starter in her first WNBA season, Onyenwere recorded 12 games with 10 or more points and five games with five or more rebounds. In her WNBA debut, she finished with 18 points and five rebounds against the Indiana Fever on May 14. Onyenwere scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed five rebounds against the Dream on May 29. In her first career double-double, she posted 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against the Minnesota Lynx on Aug. 31.

    Onyenwere won all four Kia WNBA Rookie of the Month awards this season. She helped New York qualify for the WNBA Playoffs for the first time since the 2017 season.

    New York selected Onyenwere with the sixth overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. Onyenwere played four college seasons at UCLA, where she became the Bruins’ first two-time AP All-America Team selection and finished her career as the fourth-leading scorer in program history (1,888 points).

    In honor of being named the 2021 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year, Onyenwere will receive $5,150 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.

    Below are the voting results for the 2021 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year Award and a list of past recipients.




    Michaela OnyenwereNew York Liberty47
    Aari McDonaldAtlanta Dream1
    DiDi RichardsNew York Liberty1


    2021Michaela OnyenwereNew York Liberty
    2020Crystal DangerfieldMinnesota Lynx
    2019Napheesa CollierMinnesota Lynx
    2018A'ja WilsonLas Vegas Aces
    2017Allisha GrayDallas Wings
    2016Breanna StewartSeattle Storm
    2015Jewell LoydSeattle Storm
    2014Chiney OgwumikeConnecticut Sun
    2013Elena Delle DonneChicago Sky
    2012Nneka OgwumikeLos Angeles Sparks
    2011Maya MooreMinnesota Lynx
    2010Tina CharlesConnecticut Sun
    2009Angel McCoughtryAtlanta Dream
    2008Candace ParkerLos Angeles Sparks
    2007Armintie PriceChicago Sky
    2006Seimone AugustusMinnesota Lynx
    2005Temeka JohnsonWashington Mystics
    2004Diana TaurasiPhoenix Mercury
    2003Cheryl FordDetroit Shock
    2002Tamika CatchingsIndiana Fever
    2001Jackie StilesPortland Fire
    2000Betty LennoxMinnesota Lynx
    1999Chamique HoldsclawWashington Mystics
    1998Tracy ReidCharlotte Sting
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