MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – Minnesota Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield has been named one of the four nominees for the 2021 ESPYs Best Breakthrough Athlete award, ESPN announced on Wednesday.
Dangerfield, selected in the second round (16 overall) in the 2020 WNBA draft by Minnesota, earned Rookie of the Year honors with her name appearing on 44 out of 47 ballots. She became the first player not selected in the first round to ever earn such honors. In her rookie season, the 5-6 guard started in 19 of 21 regular-season games for the Lynx and ranked 11th in the league in scoring (16.2 ppg) and third in free throw percentage (92.2%).
Dangerfield, also chosen as the WNBA’s Rookie of the Month in August and September of 2020, was atop of the rookie leaderboard in free throw percentage and ranked second in scoring, minutes (30.0 mpg) and assists (3.6 apg). She also tied for fourth in steals (0.86 spg) and fifth in field goal percentage (47.1%) among the 2020 WNBA rookie class.
A University of Connecticut graduate, Dangerfield finished the 2020 season with eight 20+ point games and three 20+ point/5+ assist contests. In her final 18 games of her rookie season, she scored 10+ points in each contest, the third-longest rookie double figure scoring streak in franchise history.
The other three nominated for the 2021 ESPYs Best Breakthrough Athlete include 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, 2020 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young of the Washington Football Team, and Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball.
The winner of the award will be announced during the 2021 ESPYs on Saturday, July 10. The show begins at 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ABC.