As a new season for the WNBA approaches every May, so does the fresh meat. The nerves start to build up as the first regular-season game hones in, all rookies are anxious for their first few minutes thrown into the game.
As the only new addition to the Chicago Sky team, Imani Boyette is proving she was more than worthy of clinching a spot on the Sky roster as her rookie season is winding down. Boyette is one of the few rookies in the league to make the top ten as a league-leader for blocks, thus far. She is averaging 1.2 blocks per game and has a total of 26 blocks under her belt this season. Due to her impressive work, she has earned a spot on the starting squad. When asked how she feels about gaining a starting position, the enthusiasm in her voice was unmistakable.
“Surreal…I’m just really thankful that my team and my coaches believe in me enough to start,” Boyette commented. “It’s a big responsibility like you’re starting a game, which means everyone trusts you to be on the floor in the important times. So, I’m just trying to make sure I’m living up to that responsibility.”
She has also completed two double-doubles this season against Indiana on June 10 and against Phoenix on July 10. When asked about what she might have done differently during these two games, she commented, that against Phoenix, it was probably due to the fact that it was her first career start. As for the game against Indiana, “everything was just going right,” Boyette said. “That was probably the second game I played extended minutes. No one had seen me more than five minutes, so that helped.”
Being the only rookie to join the Sky, Boyette shared that it can be hard as the only new addition to the team, especially this season.
“I think every team kind of has a different dynamic but, for me, I was the only rookie on my team. On other teams they have more than one new player, being a rookie or not. This is the same team from last year, plus me so that was kind of hard just because everyone knows each other and everyone has their own routine and it wasn’t someone I could go through all this with.”
Boyette spoke on Media Day back in May about her hopes to become a contributor and to find her role. Today, she was excited to share that she finally has, in fact, found her place on the team.
“My role is to be a defensive presence, to rebound; and, at first it was to tire people out, come in and sprint and get everybody tired. But now, I have a bigger role, in terms of me starting now, and it’s to get people open, set good screens and just to make sure I’m being a presence in everything I do.”
When asked what she wants to be remembered for her rookie season, Boyette was confident in her answer.
“Hopefully I’ll be on the All-Rookie Team. All I really want to do is make sure I’m making an impact on the team.”
Be sure to check out Boyette and the rest of the Chicago Sky at the next home game on August 26 against the Atlanta Dream at 7:30 p.m. CT.