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Diamond DeShields, A’ja Wilson Headline 2018 WNBA All-Rookie Team

NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 2018 – WNBA Rookie of the Year A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces leads the 2018 WNBA All-Rookie Team as one of three unanimous selections, the WNBA announced today.

The 2018 WNBA All-Rookie Team also features Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins, Chicago Sky guard Diamond DeShields, Dallas Wings forward/center Azurá Stevens and Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell.

Wilson, Atkins and DeShields earned the maximum 11 votes from a panel of the WNBA’s 12 head coaches, who each selected five players regardless of position and were not permitted to vote for players on their own team.  Stevens received eight votes and Mitchell seven votes.

The first overall section in WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm, Wilson averaged rookie highs of 20.7 points (tied for third in the WNBA), 8.0 rebounds (sixth) and 1.67 blocked shots (sixth).  The 6-4 forward/center became the second rookie in WNBA history to average at least 20.0 points per game, joining Seimone Augustus (21.9 ppg in 2006).  Wilson, a 2018 WNBA All-Star, swept all three WNBA Rookie of the Month awards this season on her way to being named the unanimous Rookie of the Year.

Atkins made an impact on both ends of the court for Washington, finishing fourth among rookies in scoring (11.3 ppg) and earning 2018 WNBA All-Defensive Second Team honors. Selected with the seventh overall pick in this year’s Draft, she ranked second among rookies in three-point field goal percentage (35.7) and steals (1.34 spg) and tied for second in field goal percentage (43.2).  Atkins and the Mystics will face the Seattle Storm in Game 2 of WNBA Finals 2018 presented by YouTube TV today at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

DeShields, the third overall selection in April, was the second-leading rookie in points (14.4 ppg) and rebounds (4.9 rpg), along with tying for third in assists (2.2 apg) and ranking third in steals (1.09 spg).  She ended the season on a strong note by averaging 26.3 points in the Sky’s final three games, including a career-high 28 points in a road victory against the Minnesota Lynx on Aug. 14.

Stevens averaged 8.9 points, 4.6 rebounds (third among rookies) and 1.15 blocks (second among rookies) for the Wings, who drafted her sixth overall in 2018.  She scored at least 12 points in every game of Dallas’ season-best five-game winning streak from July 3-12, highlighted by a career-high 26 points against the Fever on July 5.

Mitchell, the second overall pick in 2018, made 70 three-pointers this season – a total surpassed by only two rookies in WNBA history.  The Fever guard ranked third among rookies in points (12.7 ppg) and second in assists (2.7 apg).  She recorded 20 or more points six times, including three games with a season-best 26 points.

Below are the top finishers in the voting for the 2018 WNBA All-Rookie Team.

A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces – 11 votes

Ariel Atkins, Washington Mystics – 11 votes

Diamond DeShields, Chicago Sky – 11 votes

Azura Stevens, Dallas Wings – 8 votes

Kelsey Mitchell, Indiana Fever – 7 votes

About the WNBA

The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity.  The league, which counts Verizon as its leaguewide marquee partner, began its 22nd playoffs on Aug. 21, 2018.

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