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Panel of AP voters have Caitlin Clark as WNBA Rookie of the Year

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever and Angel Reese #5 of the Chicago Sky participate in a game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on June 16, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Caitlin Clark leads Angel Reese in the race for WNBA Rookie of the Year honors at the midpoint of the season, according to a national panel of voters who also rank the AP Power Poll each week.

Clark and Reese have garnered national attention with record-setting rookie seasons — leading to them being the first rookie duo to make an All-Star team since 2014 — so it’s no surprise that they’re the leading candidates for the award.

The pair have helped the league to huge increases in ratings, attendance and merchandise sales and with so much basketball still to be played an argument can be made for either to win the award.

But at the halfway point, the 15-member panel gives the edge to Clark in a 9-5 vote. One person didn’t vote.

“Today, I would say Clark, only because they have one more win overall as a team and have a 2-1 lead head-to-head,” said voter Christy Winters-Scott, a basketball analyst for the Mystics. “Clearly this could change as the WNBA season progresses. It has been a complete joy for me to witness how both players have evolved as professionals in such a short amount of time in the league.”

Clark is leading the WNBA in points accounted for (points plus points off assists) with 713 according to ESPN. The Indiana Fever’s No. 1 pick also became the first rookie to have a triple-double in a game doing it in a win over New York.

Reese set the WNBA record for consecutive double-doubles with 13, passing Candace Parker’s mark of 12 set across the 2009 and 2010 seasons. She’s leading the league in rebounding with 11.9 a game.

The panel also picked Las Vegas star A’ja Wilson as the unanimous choice for Player of the Year at this point in the season. Wilson felt she should have won the award last year and this year has been even more dominant. She is averaging 27.0 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.

The Aces star forward is on pace to shatter the record for average points in a season. She became the Aces’ all-time scoring leader on Sunday.

Cheryl Reeve gets the mid-season nod for Coach of the Year. She guided the Minnesota Lynx to a Commissioner’s Cup title and has the team sitting in third in the standings. Reeve was a near unanimous choice, with Connecticut’s Stephanie White garnering the only other vote.