After a season that saw A’ja Wilson hit the ground running and leave no doubt who the WNBA Rookie of the Year was, 2019 has seen a larger pool of rookies making their own statements about who should get the nod when the season wraps up.
Napheesa Collier appeared to be the front-runner early in the summer, but Arike Ogunbowale has made her own history on the way to making it a more interesting race. Likely to join them on the All-Rookie team are Teaira McCowan and Jackie Young, who have each made their own impact on teams on either side of the standings.
There isn’t always much of a race. Four times the Rookie of the Year decision has been unanimous. Candace Parker received every vote in 2008 when she was also MVP, and Tina Charles (2010), Elena Delle Donne (2013), and Wilson (2018) were also unanimous selections.
Twelve times (out of 22 so far) the No. 1 overall Draft pick has gone on to win the award, and only four times has a player outside the top four selections been voted as the leading rookie.
That said, the decision has not always been perfectly clear. With such a fun rookie race dominating WNBA discussion in 2019 that could end in a close vote, let’s take a look back at some of the closest WNBA Rookie of the Year votes we’ve seen in the past.
All statistics courtesy of Across the Timeline.