With the WNBA post season kicking off and several WNBA honors announced it time to talk about the buzz of the community Rookie of the Year. The main contenders, Arike Ogunbowale is a top three scorer in the WNBA who has transformed her game from pure scorer to an elite scorer with polished playmaking skills. The other Napheesa Collier is a well-rounded combo forward with her hands on every part of the game. Both are rookies. Both are incredible talents.
Not too often does a sport produce two rookies this amazing in the same season. They’re mold breakers. Ogunbowale forced teams to game plan for her and still had a string of four games where she scored 30+ points, something only one rookie has done before. Collier became just the second rookie to score 400+ points, 200+ rebounds, 80+ assists, and 60 steals. More history should be made this year by naming the two Co-Rookie Of The Year.
There’s a case for saying this is the closest Rookie of the Year race in league history. It’s definitely the toughest award race to call this season even in a highly contested MVP race.
— Dallas Wings (@DallasWings) September 9, 2019
These star rookies sparked their team’s from the jump, showing a great prediction of the future of their franchises. Their games differ greatly but that’s more of a function of their roles than an indictment on their talent in a given area.
The battle for the Rookie of the Year has quickly became a question of what’s more important production or impact. Collier’s Lynx, the winner of the 2017 WNBA championship challenged the defending champion Seattle Storm in the playoffs where they’d lose 84-74. While the young Wings finished as a bottom three team awaiting a lucky bounce.
Change her name to ROY. pic.twitter.com/Fm9kiNXEaH
— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) September 1, 2019
Both players had historic seasons regardless of being rookies. Ogunbowale’s scoring streaks tie a long-standing WNBA record. Collier’s game is so unique her overall stats put her in the same field with W’s legends.
Media members and WNBA officials will deliberate and soon vote to decide this race. Fans will likely be in an uproar for days placing asterisks by the name they rooted against. There’s no time better than now to make a flagship decision like this than now.
Both are rookies. Both are incredible talents. Both should be the Rookie Of The Year.