WNBA rookie Wilson off to a strong start

Las Vegas’ top rookie A’ja Wilson continues to solidify her place in the WNBA. The 6’-5” Wilson from South Carolina last week reached and surpassed the 300-point mark in her first 15 games.

She joined the Lynx’s Seimone Augustus, Cynthia Cooper, Ruthie Bolton and Cappie Pondexter as the only W players to reach this feat in their first 15 pro games. Wilson (with 301 points) later last week scored 29 points to lead the Aces in a victory over Los Angeles.

Augustus, now in her 13th year, scored 334 points in 15 games in 2006: 32 points more than Bolton (302), 20 points more than Cooper (314), and six points more than Pondexter (328) in similar 15-game stints in their first WNBA seasons. Only Augustus and Pondexter are still active players.

Good ratings fail to silence critics

ESPN and league officials last weekend said last Thursday’s Los Angeles-Seattle telecast on ESPN2 was the network’s highest-rated regular season game since 2011, and the highest rated WNBA regular season game on the ESPN networks since 2016.

The top five markets included Portland, Oregon (2.5), Seattle-Tacoma (1.2), Memphis (1.1), New Orleans (0.9) and Louisville (0.9). The Storm-Sparks telecast nationally drew a 0.4 overnight rating.

Despite this news, W fans are still critical of how ESPN broadcasts league games.

The network’s next telecast is Thursday when Minnesota hosts Los Angeles (ESPN2, 7 pm Central time).

Amber Stokes
Charles Hallman/MSR News

Dual-role Stokes credits versatile staff

Amber Stokes is one of two Black female coach/GMs in the WNBA. Now in her second year in Chicago, Stokes told the MSR that she has adjusted to her dual role.

“There’s a short window during the day when I’m in GM mode,” she explained. She gives full credit to her coaching staff for their work, which involves more than the average assistant.

“They handle everything coaching-wise,” Stokes continued. “That’s a huge benefit to have such a phenomenal staff.

“We’re a team off the court as well,” the Sky coach-GM said.

A’ja Wilson
A’ja Wilson Photo courtesy of Twitter

Yes, they said it…

“You got to come out and grind out a win. Every game counts,” said Dallas Coach Fred Williams.

“You have a lot more freedom at the professional level as a player” as opposed to an often-inflexible college schedule, said Las Vegas center A’ja Wilson.