UConn In The Pros: Collier takes home Rookie of the Year, Springer makes history

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Women’s Basketball Final Four from April 5, 2019.  Photo by Charlotte Lao / The Daily Campus

Women’s Basketball Final Four from April 5, 2019. Photo by Charlotte Lao / The Daily Campus

The UConn women’s basketball program continues to provide some of the faces of the WNBA. The latest is Napheesa Collier, who was named the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year last week. Collier was drafted sixth overall in this year’s draft by the Minnesota Lynx, and she quickly became one of the team’s most important players. 

Collier really did it all for the Lynx this year, averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 steals and 0.9 blocks per game in her rookie season. She was named a WNBA All-Star for her efforts and helped lead her team to the seventh seed in the playoffs. 

 Though the Lynx lost to the Seattle Storm in the first round of the playoffs last week, Collier still had a great game by logging a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. 

Former Notre Dame star Arike Ogunbowale actually led all rookies in scoring this season, but Collier edged her out for the award by doing exactly what she did at UConn: being extremely versatile. In fact, she became the fourth player in WNBA history to record at least 400 points, 200 rebounds, 75 assists, 50 steals, 25 blocks and 25 3-pointers made in a single season.  

Collier did all of that as a rookie, which shows that this award was well-earned after her tremendous season. 

Switching gears to the MLB, Houston Astros outfielder George Springer is just continuing to produce his best year in the majors so far. With almost two weeks left in the season, he has already set career highs in home runs (35) and RBI (90), and it looks like he will set a new career high in batting average and OPS as well. 

Last week, Springer made some UConn history when he slugged his 153rd career home run last week, passing Walt Dropo for the most all-time by a UConn alum in the MLB. His total is currently at 156. 

The Astros will clinch their third straight AL West division title any day now, and then they will pursue their second World Series in three years. It will be exciting to see whether Springer matches his unbelievable playoff production from the past two years. 

Looking at the NFL, no former Huskies really made headlines in Week 2. Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones made his first start of the season against the Washington Redskins after being limited in the team’s first game. He recorded eight tackles and a pass deflection in the game. 

Jones was named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro Second Team last season, and he is expected to be one of the key pieces of the Cowboys secondary this year. 


Danny Barletta is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.barletta@uconn.edu.

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