PTS 26 – vs. DAL 8/12/1
REB 7 – vs. CHI 7/13/18
AST 5 – 3x
FGM 8 – vs. CHI 7/13/18
STL 3 – 2x
BLK 2 – vs. LA 6/15/18
MIN 30 – @ DAL 7/19/18
Selected 7th overall in the 2018 Draft, Atkins came to D.C. from The University of Texas with a two-way game well beyond her years. Her impact was as immediate, scoring in double figures in seven of her first nine games, as it was consistent, averaging 11.3 points per game in her 29 appearances. Atkins’ efforts were recognized with All-Rookie and All-Defensive Second Team honors. The rookie, however, saved her best for the postseason, upping her average output in a number of statistical categories: points, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and rebounds. Atkins even cut her turnovers by 0.5 per game from the regular season to the postseason. Over Washington’s nine-game run to the WNBA Finals, Atkins tallied 137 points, the most total points scored by a rookie in WNBA postseason history.
- 2018 WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
- 2018 WNBA All-Rookie Team
- Started in 24 of her 29 games
- Ranked second among all rookies in total steals, field goal percentage and 3-point field goal percentage
- Scored 11.3 points per game, good for fourth among all rookies and third on the Mystics
- Logged a record-setting postseason, highlighted by 137 points over nine games, the most total points scored by a rookie in a single postseason in WNBA history, breaking Maya Moore’s previous record of 110 set in 2011. Atkins scored 15+ points in six of her nine postseason games.
- Recorded the highest postseason 3-point field goal percentage (.424) with a minimum of 25 attempts.
- May 27 vs. Minnesota – Atkins scored 14 points off the bench, 11 of them coming the second quarter to help the Mystics overcome an 18-point deficit.
- August 12 vs. Dallas – Atkins scored a career-high 26 points after being a perfect 5-for-5 from the 3-point line.
- September 4 at Atlanta (Semis Game 5) – Atkins took scored a game-high 20 points to go with seven rebounds to lead the Mystics to the WNBA Finals for the first time in Franchise history.
“I feel good about the leadership we have. All of the vets, they’re so helpful and they’re always talking to me. So just from my experience, this being my first year in the league I’ve been blessed to be on a really good team. Just solid character people.” – Ariel Atkins, 8/19/18
“It’s like our little babies are out there making us proud. It’s great. We see it every day in practice. We see what they do against our practice guys. We see how strong they are and how quick they are and they are fearless too. They are not afraid of the big moment. It’s always great watching them go off and being so proud.” – EDD, 6/26/18, referring to Ariel and Myisha Hines-Allen
“Ariel did all the things we drafted her for; just not knowing it would all come together in the first year. Her ability to focus and stay in the moment is amazing for a rookie. The veterans talk to her about ‘You’re not a rookie anymore, you act like a veteran, you’re a veteran.” – Coach T, 9/7/18, referring to Ariel
“I know she was nervous. But she’s able to channel her nervous energy into really good things, so it’s funny because the thing I was most worried about when we drafted her was would she be aggressive enough her rookie year, would she be willing to step up and not defer to everybody else. And it hasn’t been a concern since the second or third game of the season. She’s just fit right in, she’s asserted herself, and we’ve needed that from her.” – Coach T, 9/7/18, referring to Ariel
Atkins will be heading overseas for a second rookie season, playing in Poland for Gorzów WLKP. Head to our Mystics Abroad page for more info.