Historic Clark and Reese Headline a Generational WNBA Rookie Class

July 08, 2024

The 2024 WNBA rookie class is making a groundbreaking impact on the league. Talents like Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese have generated increased hype for WNBA hoops, placing more eyes than ever on the product. Some of their fellow first-year players have helped that cause as well.

Clark has been selling out venues across the nation, even forcing some teams to move to bigger arenas. Reese has also become an even bigger star than she was in college, bringing in support from some of the biggest stars in the music and entertainment industries out to her games.

Here’s a look at how Clark, Reese, and a few other stellar rookies have fared thus far. 

Clark has been just as good and, in some cases even better, than many would have thought coming out of Iowa. With the Fever, she’s provided the same logo 3s, pinpoint passes and undeniable passion that made her the most transcendent player the women’s college game had ever seen. While Clark’s shooting has been spectacular, she’s really put on a legendary display with her playmaking. The Fever’s single-season rookie assist record is already in her possession after totaling 138 through her first 20 games. She’s well on pace to surpass the non-rookie franchise record of 201. 

After coming close a few times earlier in the season, Clark added another historic milestone to her collection on Saturday against the New York Liberty, becoming the first rookie in league history to post a triple-double. She finished the 83-78 victory with 19 points, 13 assists and 12 boards, with a ton of her contributions coming on fast breaks. “I think we’re really good when I can get the ball off the glass and just go in transition and find my teammates and set them up,” she said. 

On Sunday, Reese achieved another historic feat thanks to her prowess down low. She finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds against the Storm, notching her 13th straight double-double. That helped her surpass Candace Parker for the most consecutive double-doubles in WNBA history. “I’ve always respected ‘CP3’, and I try even to take some things from her game and try to add them to mine,” she said. “And just being able to be named with an amazing player like that is always going to be special to me.”

The Sky have a dominant low-post duo with Reese and fellow first-year star Kamilla Cardoso. The former South Carolina standout has transferred her game perfectly to the pros, as she’s rebounded and sent shots away with tenacity.  The first two double-doubles of her career came within a week of each other; she tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Fever on June 16, then followed that up with 16 points and 10 boards in a win against Indiana on June 23. 

Out in Los Angeles, Rickea Jackson has done a tremendous job putting the ball in the basket. The fourth overall pick out of Tennessee just knows how to get to her spots and convert, even occasionally stepping out to knock down 3s. Against the Mercury on July 7, she scored 22 points, her career best to that point.

Aaliyah Edwards has found her footing in Washington, establishing herself as a pillar for the Mystics’ future. Going against fellow rookies has brought the best out of her thus far, with two of her top outings coming against Reese, Cardoso and the Sky. The No. 6 pick notched her first career double-double on June 6 against Chicago with a 23-point and 14 board outing.

The WNBA looks a lot different as these talented and exciting women continue to fit in their roles for their respective franchises. With another large portion of the season to go, including the playoffs, expect to keep seeing the W reach new heights.

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