By Josh Hyber/Photo by Jenny Dilworth
Allisha Gray can call herself an NCAA champion, a first-round WNBA Draft selection and the third-leading scorer for the Dallas Wings this season.
But most impressively, this week the former South Carolina guard (2016-2017) added a title that will be forever be mentioned before anyone mentions her name: 2017 WNBA Rookie of the Year.
Earlier this week, Gray was announced as the recipient of the prestigious award, one previously given to basketball greats Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore.
“Yooooo big time congrats to @DallasWings @GamecockWBB own @Graytness_15 on being @AP_Sports rookie of the year!!! #BOOM #PROUD #GOCOCKS,” Gamecocks’ head coach Dawn Staley tweeted.
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Gray’s former SC teammate Kaela Davis, who also plays for Dallas, joined her on the AP all-rookie team, which was rounded out by Atlanta’s Brittney Sykes, San Antonio’s Kelsey Plum and Washington’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.
Gray — the fourth overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft — averaged 13 points and 3.9 rebounds per game this season. She started all 34 games for Dallas and helped the Wings to their first postseason appearance since moving from Tulsa before the 2016 season.
During her one season in Columbia, Gray was named to the NCAA Final Four all-tournament team, was the SEC Player of the Week for the week ending on January 26 and was named to the SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll.
Gray had 22 points and 12 rebounds in South Carolina’s first-round NCAA Tournament game against UNC Asheville and added 11 points and eight rebounds against Arizona State. In the national title game against Mississippi St. she scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, including four in the fourth quarter.
Davis also spent one season with SC.
In her lone season with the Gamecocks, the 6-foot-2 guard scored 12.8 points per game and shot 59-of-167 from 3-point range. She averaged 17.4 points a game on 45.6 percent shooting during the NCAA Tournament.
Davis was the Most Outstanding Player of the Stockton Region, scoring 52 points in two games to help the Gamecocks advance to the Final Four.
The 10th pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft, Davis averaged 6.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 33 games for Dallas this season.