NEW YORK – Former UConn women’s basketball standout Breanna Stewart was named the 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year as announced by the league Thursday after she led all first-year players in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots during her inaugural professional season with the Seattle Storm.
The three-time Naismith Trophy winner and two-time Wade Trophy recipient, Stewart is the fourth UConn alum to earn this recognition, joining Olympic gold medal teammates Diana Taurasi (2004), Tina Charles (2010) and Maya Moore (2011).
The No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft, Stewart received 38 of 39 votes from the deciding panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Fellow Husky teammate and second overall draft pick, Moriah Jefferson, received the only other vote.
Stewart, who appeared in all 34 regular-season games, averaged 18.3 points (sixth in the WNBA), 9.3 rebounds (second) and 1.9 blocks (third). She ranked second among rookies in assists (3.4 apg) and steals (1.2 spg) and was third in field goal percentage (45.7) and free throw percentage (83.3).
The North Syracuse, N.Y. native, who claimed all four WNBA Rookie of the Month accolades, helped the Storm to a 16-18 overall record and to a WNBA playoff appearance for the first time since 2013. Stewart boasted double figures in 31 of 34 games and recorded 12 double-doubles on the season.