Sky’s Rebekah Gardner named to WNBA All-Rookie team
The Sky’s 32-year-old rookie Rebekah Gardner was named to the 2022 WNBA All-Rookie team, the league announced on Thursday.
“I found out when Cathy Engelbert, the commissioner, told me. It was unexpected,” Gardner said laughing. “My friends and family are more excited and happy than I think I am. I’m always happy to put a smile on their face.”
Since joining the Sky on a training camp deal in February, she averaged 8.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists off the bench in the regular season. She notched her first career double-double with a career high 18 points and 10 assists against the Los Angeles Sparks on July 14th.
Among the rookie class this regular season, she ranked in the Top 10 across multiple categories. Gardner ranked No. 5 in points per game, No. 7 in rebounds, No. 9 in assists, No. 7 in field goal shooting percentage (54.4%) and No. 2 in steals per game with an average of 1.4.
“Although I’ve had the experience overseas, coming to the league is a lot different playing with so many great players,” Gardner said. “I think that, honestly, I’m so grateful for having a great rookie season, but I think there’s just so much you haven’t seen yet. That’s what I’m excited about.”
While she may be a WNBA rookie, Gardner’s international decade-long career is nothing to knock. She played on the Spanish women’s team Spar CityLift Girona last season where she averaged 13 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. She was named Spanish League MVP and a Spanish Cup Finalist in the 2021-2022 season.
“Even more than it means to me, I feel like it’s encouraging to some other players who have been in my position,” Gardner said smiling. “Just for them to know that when they get the opportunity, take advantage of it. You never know how fast things can change. I just want to keep inspiring those people to keep chasing their dreams.”
Gardner also played for the Romanian Club Sepsi SIC where she won both the league championship and Romanian Cup Championship. In the 2015-2016 season, she was named Eurocup First Team, Israel League First Team and Israel League Import Player of the Year.