Napheesa Collier fended off fierce competitors to turn into the WNBA’s Rookie of the Yr, with the Minnesota Lynx standout capping a prolific season through which she logged 444 regular-season factors with an early-career accolade.
Collier exploded into the league in a season-opener in opposition to the Chicago Sky that noticed the first-round draft decide rating 27 factors, the second-most ever by a participant in a WNBA debut.
The 22-year-old, a university star at UConn, instructed Reuters the efficiency helped her transfer previous a disappointing pre-season.
“I definitely took a second to appreciate it because I didn’t feel like I played well in the pre-season games,” Collier stated, reflecting on the 89-71 season-opening win.
“I was just going out there to have fun and let loose and I think that’s what allowed me to play well because I was kind of wound up in those other pre-season games. Having not had a great pre-season, I knew I had to step up my game.”
Collier stored the momentum going and carved out her place with the workforce early, because the Lynx introduced on a raft of younger expertise in a bid to recapture glory after successful the WNBA title in 2017 however dropping within the first spherical of the play-offs in 2018.
“A lot of people didn’t think we were going to be in the place that we were in. Just with rebuilding and having so many new people,” stated Collier.
“I think it definitely gave me a chance to prove myself and play a lot early and kind of establish myself in the league.”
Driving a wave of optimism this 12 months, the Lynx, four-time champions, gained 5 of their remaining six regular-season video games, however noticed their 12 months reduce brief within the post-season with an 84-74 Spherical 1 loss to the Seattle Storm.
However Collier stated her workforce’s late-season efficiency was trigger for optimism.
“Especially toward the end we really started figuring it out. We had a lot of highs and lows through the year but we ended on a five-out-of-six winning streak,” stated Collier. “Going into that last game we were really on a roll.”
Subsequent up, Collier stated she is going to journey to Miami to coach for the AmeriCup, held later this month in Puerto Rico.
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