After a spectacular rookie campaign for the New York Liberty, forward Michaela Onyenwere has been recognized by the WNBA for her efforts.

On Tuesday morning, the WNBA announced that Onyenwere had been named Rookie of the year for the 2021 season.

It was a landslide decision for the former UCLA standout, as she received 47 of the 49 first-place votes from media members for the Rookie of the Year award. The only other two players to receive Rookie of the year votes were Liberty guard DiDi Richards and Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald.

Praised for her defense, Onyenwere was strong all season long for the Liberty, averaging 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and starting all 32 games she appeared in. Her play helped lead the Liberty to a 12-20 record and their first playoff berth since 2017.

Onyenwere was the sixth pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft out of UCLA, where she put up historic numbers for the Bruins. In four seasons for UCLA, Onyenwere was a two-time All-American and averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

She’s now the first player to win Rookie of the Year in Liberty history.





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