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WNBA honors Liberty with Player of the Week, Rookie of the Month, Coach of the Month

Dallas Wings v New York Liberty Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Big couple of days for the New York Liberty!

The 5-2 Liberty was honored by the WNBA Tuesday and again Wednesday with weekly and monthly honors...

On Tuesday, it was Player of the Week Betnijah Laney...

Then, Wednesday, it was time for monthly honors. Michaela Onyenwere, taken No. 6 overall, was named Rookie of the Month...

And Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins was named Coach of the Month.,,

Last week’s Player of the Week went to the Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu. Laney and Ionescu’s back-to-back awards mark the first time a Liberty player has received Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks since Tina Charles in 2017 (August 28, 2017 & September 5, 2017).

Over the last week, Laney has recorded averages of 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists. The Liberty’s marquee free agent signee opened the season setting a franchise record of seven consecutive games with 20+ points to begin the year. Throughout the league’s history, the record for the longest 20+ point streak to open a season is nine and is held by Cynthia Cooper (1999 season).

Second-year Head Coach Walt Hopkins has led the Liberty to a 5-2 start this season, the team’s best since 2007. This is Hopkins’ first Coach of the Month award, and the franchise’s second (Bill Laimbeer, Aug. 2017). The Liberty are currently leading the league in 3-pointers made (83) and 3-point percentage (43.2). New York is also ranked among the top five teams across several categories including: points per game (fifth, 84.1), assists per game (secnd, 20.9), field goal percentage (fourth, 44.3) and free throw percentage (third, 82.5).

Onyenwere, the Liberty’s sixth overall selection in the 2021 WNBA Draft, is currently leading all rookies in points per game (12.1), minutes per game (23.9), total field goals made (31) and 3-pointers made (15). She is also averaging 3.3 rebounds per game and shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 44.1 percent from beyond the arc and 88.9 percent at the free throw line. Onyenwere’s career-best 29-point performance against the Atlanta Dream on May 29 is the best among rookies this season.

The UCLA product is the Liberty’s second ever Rookie of the Month.

Meanwhile, Ionescu has reached an agreement with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s Thirty-Five Ventures to serve as an “ambassador” and strategic partner.

“Sabrina is a generational talent on the court, and it’s already clear that she moves different in the business world as well. We’re excited to build something special together,” Durant said.

Ionescu will work with “Boardroom” on content, events and editorial, including a collaboration with Durant. She also will become a strategic partner to Thirty Five Ventures, giving her visibility and access to stakeholders and venture capital.

“KD and Rich [Kleiman] have built something incredible with Thirty Five Ventures and ‘Boardroom’ and I’m excited to be a part of it first-hand as I expand my business off the court,” Ionescu said. “With KD and I both playing in New York it provides the unique opportunity for us to collaborate.”