Atlanta Dream guard Brittney Sykes leads the 2017 WNBA All-Rookie Team as one of three unanimous selections, the WNBA announced today. The All-Rookie Team also features Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray, San Antonio Stars guard Kelsey Plum, Wings guard Kaela Davis and Washington Mystics guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. Gray, Plum and Sykes received 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. Davis and Walker-Kimbrough earned seven votes each.
Sykes was the rookie leader in scoring (13.9 ppg), rebounding (4.1 rpg) and three-pointers made (37). The seventh selection in the April draft was named Rookie of the Month for July and August/September, a stretch that included 21 double-figure scoring performances in 22 games. Sykes closed the season with a career-best 33 points against the Phoenix Mercury on Sept. 3 – the highest-scoring game by a rookie in 2017. Sykes is fourth Dream player to be named to the All-Rookie Team (Alex Bentley 2013, Tiffany Hayes 2012, Angel McCoughtry 2009).
The fourth overall pick in the WNBA Draft 2017 presented by State Farm, Gray finished second among rookies in scoring (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (3.9 rpg). She also led first-year players in steals with 1.53 per game, which ranked seventh in the WNBA. Gray began her career by earning WNBA Rookie of the Month honors in May and June.
Plum, the top pick in this year’s draft, led rookies in assists (3.4 apg) and free throw percentage (87.0) to go with the third-highest scoring average (8.5 ppg) and the fourth-best three-point field goal percentage (36.5). On back-to-back days, Plum handed out a career-high 12 assists against Washington on Aug. 4 and scored a career-high 23 points against the Seattle Storm on Aug. 5.
Davis led rookies in three-point field goal percentage (42.9) and ranked fourth in scoring (6.1 ppg) after being selected by Dallas with the 10th pick in the 2017 draft. She scored 20 points against the Phoenix in her WNBA debut on May 14 and posted a career-high 23 points against the Chicago Sky on July 16. Davis joined Gray, her college teammate at South Carolina, in helping the Wings earn the seventh seed in the WNBA Playoffs 2017 presented by Verizon.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, drafted with the sixth pick in 2017, helped the Mystics reach the playoffs as the sixth seed. She scored at least 13 points in three straight games from Aug. 12-18 – three of her eight starts in 2017. For the season, Walker-Kimbrough averaged 4.4 points in 12.5 minutes and ranked third among rookies in free-throw percentage (85.4).