A passionate and dynamic player, Napheesa Collier is a dominant forward for the Minnesota Lynx with a historic collegiate legacy at the University of Connecticut.
Drafted No. 6 overall by the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, Collier became the league’s 2019 Rookie of the Year. In her second season (2020), the 6’1” forward averaged 6.1 points per game and ranked third in the league with 9.0 rebounds per game. Inside the league’s bubble in Florida, Collier was named to the All-Defensive Team and the All-WNBA Second Team. As a rookie, the Missouri native took the league by storm, starting in all 34 regular-season games, logging a league-high 33.3 minutes per game and averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.91 steals and 0.94 blocked shots per contest.
Collier was the only rookie to make the 2019 WNBA All-Star roster and became only the fourth player in league history to record at least 400 points, 200 rebounds, 75 assists, 50 steals, 25 blocks and 25 three-pointers made in a single season.
At UConn, Collier was a leader on the acclaimed women’s basketball team under legendary coach Geno Auriemma. She received the 2019 Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in her senior season and helped lead the Huskies to the Final Four in each of her four years at UConn, including a 2016 National Championship win. At the end of her collegiate career, Collier ranked 3rd in scoring, 4th in rebounds, and 7th in blocks in program history and became only the fifth player in the exclusive 2000/1000 club, joining UConn greats Maya Moore, Tina Charles, Breanna Stewart and Rebecca Lobo. Her list of collegiate accolades doesn’t stop there – Collier was the 2019 AAC Defensive Player of the Year, a 2x AAC Player of the Year (2019, 2017) and the 2019 AAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, amongst many other honors.
Internationally, Collier won gold medals at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, 2014 Youth Olympic Games and 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, holding an all-time record of 28-0 in USA Basketball games.
Both on and off the court, Collier is known for her selflessness and giving nature. Her grandfather, Gershon Collier, was a lawyer, former ambassador to the United Nations, former ambassador to the United States, and, briefly, chief justice of Sierra Leone. He passed away two years before Collier was born and Napheesa’s father, Gamal Collier, explained to The New York Times that he brought up Napheesa to know the "importance of self-sufficiency and responsibility and upholding the family name." A true team player, Napheesa also enjoys spending time with her teammates away from basketball, whether it’s going to the movies or playing silly games. Personally, she enjoys yoga classes, which help with her flexibility, boxing classes, which sharpen her footwork, and reading, especially mystery novels.