2021 WNBA Panini Michaela Onyenwere Blue Prizm Rookie LibertyWNBA Future Watch: Michaela Onyenwere Basketball Cards, New York LibertyMichaela Onyenwere just capped off an incredible first season at the professional level by being named the WNBA Rookie of the Year, a mere two votes shy of winning unanimously.

Although some pundits doubted whether Onyenwere’s prep and college success would carry over to the pro level. In actuality, her success was foreshadowed before her birth because of her genetics: her father, Peter, was an Olympic track and field athlete for Nigeria and also competed for the University of Missouri.

Like many second-generation athletes, Onyenwere was on the radar early and amassed a high school career that culminated in McDonald’s All-American honors in 2017.  This came on the heels of Onyenwere’s squad capturing the Colorado 5A State Championship and a host of individual honors: Ms. Colorado Basketball, the 5A Girls Basketball Player of the Year, and the Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year.

A highly-recruited forward, Onyenwere made her way to UCLA, becoming a repeat All-Pac-12 honoree.  Selected for Team USA in the 2019 Pan American Games, Onyenwere was a key contributor to the silver medal squad.

The collective accolades at various levels ensured that Onyenwere would be a high selection in the 2021 WNBA Draft. Indeed, the New York Liberty made her their pick with the sixth overall selection.  What unfolded was a campaign in which Onyenwere became only the fifth player in league history to capture Rookie of the Month honors every time throughout the season.  Onyenwere’s breakthrough game came on May 29, a 29-point, five-rebound effort against AtlantaFirst in points and second in rebounds among rookies, Onyenwere also led the Liberty back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

As Onyenwere’s scoring range improves with time, the newest hardwood “Toast of New York” will take big steps towards future MVP contention.  Such a progression is to be expected, as Onyenwere has been expanding her natural gifts ever since first picking up a basketball.

WNBA Future Watch: Michaela Onyenwere Basketball Cards, New York Liberty – Stats

Per Game Table
Year Team Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2021 NYL 21 32 29 22.2 2.8 7.1 .401 1.2 3.5 .327 1.7 3.6 .474 .482 1.8 2.1 .836 0.7 2.3 2.9 0.6 0.4 0.3 1.1 2.5 8.6
Career 32 29 22.2 2.8 7.1 .401 1.2 3.5 .327 1.7 3.6 .474 .482 1.8 2.1 .836 0.7 2.3 2.9 0.6 0.4 0.3 1.1 2.5 8.6
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/15/2021.

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