Aerial Powers

Aerial Powers (born January 17, 1994) is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Lynx of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).[1][2] She played college basketball at Michigan State University. After a successful college career with the Spartans, Powers was drafted by the Dallas Wings with the fifth overall pick in the 2016 WNBA draft.

Aerial Powers
Aerial Powers 2021.png
Aerial Powers in 2021
No. 3 – Minnesota Lynx
PositionSmall forward / Shooting guard
LeagueWNBA
Personal information
Born (1994-01-17) January 17, 1994 (age 29)
Detroit, Michigan
NationalityAmerican
Listed height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight159 lb (72 kg)
Career information
High schoolDetroit Country Day
(Detroit, Michigan)
CollegeMichigan State (2013–2016)
WNBA draft2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Dallas Wings
Playing career2016–present
Career history
20162018Dallas Wings
2017–2018Fenerbahçe S.K.
20182020Washington Mystics
2019–2020Guangdong Vermilion Birds
2021–presentMinnesota Lynx
Career highlights and awards
Stats at WNBA.com
Medals
Representing the USA
World University Games
Gold medal – first place 2015 South Korea Team Competition

Early lifeEdit

Powers was born in Detroit, Michigan to Juan and Cecelia Powers. She has a younger brother named Juan Jr. Powers. Before playing basketball, Powers participated in boxing at a young age.[3]

Powers is openly lesbian. [4]

High schoolEdit

Powers was a 2012 graduate of Detroit Country Day. During her high school career, Powers led her school team to four consecutive regional championships. Upon graduation, Powers accepted a basketball scholarship at Michigan State University.

CollegeEdit

Powers attended Michigan State University for four seasons. Powers couldn't play for Michigan State in her first year due to a torn achilles tendon that she suffered in practice before the season started.[5] In her second year, Powers came back healthy and averaged 13.8 points per game in her first season for Michigan State. During her first season, Powers had 26 points and 18 rebounds against Hampton University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, which was the third-most points scored by a Michigan State Spartan in the NCAA Tournament, while her rebounding performance broke Michigan State's NCAA Tournament single-game record. By the end of her first season, Powers was named to the All-Big Ten First Team, becoming the first Michigan State freshman to ever be named to the First Team. She was also named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and was a co-recipient for both Michigan State's Player of the Year and Spartan Hustle award. In her second season with Michigan State, Powers had the best year of her college career, averaging 21.9 points and 12.1 rebounds per game. During the season, she had 24 double-doubles, which tied her for first on the All-Big Ten First Team and was the third-most in the NCAA. In her final season with Michigan State, Powers averaged 21.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. In February 2016, Power earned espnW player of the week honors following her career-high 40 points (on 14–26 field goal shooting) along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists in a 114–106 win against Minnesota.[6] By the end of the season, she was named to the All-American Third Team and the All-Big Ten First Team for the third time. Following her senior season, Powers entered the 2016 WNBA draft.[7]

College statisticsEdit

Sources:[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2013–14 Michigan State 32 26.4 .485 .322 .714 8.3 2.4 1.8 0.7 13.8
2014–15 Michigan State 31 35.5 .397 .303 .783 12.1 3.5 2.2 1.2 21.9
2015–16 Michigan State 32 32.8 .444 .312 .830 9.2 2.9 2.0 0.7 21.8
Career 95 31.5 .441 .312 .775 9.8 2.8 2.0 0.8 18.9

USA BasketballEdit

 
Aerial Powers driving in the World University gold medal game against Canada

Powers was selected to be a member of the USA representative to the World University Games held in Seoul, South Korea from July 5–13, 2015. The team won all six games, including the championship game against Canada. For the first three quarters, the game was quite close with four ties and four lead changes. In the fourth quarter the USA exploded for 34 points to pull out to a large lead, and won the gold medal with a score of 82–63.[14] Powers was the leading scorer for the USA team, averaging 18 points per game.[15]

WNBAEdit

Dallas Wings (2016-2018)Edit

In 2016, Powers signed an endorsement deal with Nike.[16] Powers was drafted 5th overall by the Dallas Wings in the 2016 WNBA draft.[17] In her rookie season, Powers came off the bench and was effective on the Wings' second unit, averaging 10.4 points per game in 32 games with 2 starts. In a loss to the Washington Mystics, she put up career-highs in both scoring and rebounding with 21 points and 10 rebounds. It was also her first career double-double.[18] She was named to the WNBA All-Rookie Team by the end of the season.

 
Powers in Fenerbahçe uniform in 2018

Midway through the 2017 WNBA season on July 25, Powers made her return after recovering from hip surgery, scoring 9 points in 18 minutes off the bench in an 84-82 victory over the Indiana Fever.[19] 2 games later, Power made her first and only start of the season for the Wings and scored a new career-high of 23 points in a 95-74 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks.[20] The Wings finished as the number 7 seed in the league with a 16-18 record but lost to the Washington Mystics in the first round elimination game, Powers scored 21 points off the bench in the loss.

On July 18, 2018, Powers scored a season-high 18 points in a 101-72 victory against the Phoenix Mercury.[21]

Washington Mystics (2018-2020)Edit

On July 24, 2018, Powers was traded to the Washington Mystics in exchange for Tayler Hill and draft picks.[22] The Mystics finished as the number three seed with a 22-12 record, receiving a bye to the second round elimination game, the Mystics would defeat the Los Angeles Sparks 96-64. In the semi-finals, the Mystics defeated the number 2 seed Atlanta Dream in a five-game series, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. In the Finals, the Mystics would get swept by the Seattle Storm.

In 2019, Powers would have the best season of her career thus far. On July 7, 2019, Powers scored a new career-high 24 points in a 98-81 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks. By the end of the season, Powers finished with a career-high in scoring, helping the Mystics a league-best 26-8 record, receiving a double-bye to the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, the Mystics defeated the Las Vegas Aces 3-1 to advance to the WNBA Finals for the second year in a row. In the WNBA Finals, the Mystics would come out victorious as they defeated the Connecticut Sun in five games, earning Powers her first WNBA championship.

In 2020, the season was delayed and shortened to 22 games in a bubble at IMG Academy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Mystics' star player Elena Delle Donne sitting out the season for health concerns after being diagnosed as a "high risk player", Powers would be inserted into the starting lineup. On July 28, 2020, Powers scored a new career-high 27 points in a 94-89 victory over the Connecticut Sun.[23] On August 7, 2020, Powers suffered a hamstring injury in a game against the New York Liberty and would be sidelined for the rest of the season, she was also averaging new career-highs in scoring, assists, steals and rebounds with her increased playing time. The Mystics struggled to defend their title as their roster was depleted with a few key players leaving in free agency. They finished the season 9-13 with the number 8 seed but were eliminated by the Phoenix Mercury in the first round elimination game.

Minnesota Lynx (2021-Present)Edit

In 2021, Powers became an unrestricted free agent and signed with the Minnesota Lynx.[24]

WNBA career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game  RPG  Rebounds per game
 APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game  BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game
 TO  Turnovers per game  FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 Bold  Career high ° League leader
Denotes seasons in which Powers won a WNBA championship

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2016 Dallas 32 2 19.2 .394 .368 .835 2.7 1.1 1.0 0.2 1.5 10.4
2017 Dallas 12 1 20.3 .339 .310 .818 4.2 1.5 0.4 0.5 1.5 10.8
2018* Dallas 15 0 15.4 .366 .179 .824 2.5 0.9 0.5 0.1 1.6 6.2
2018* Washington 9 0 12.7 .450 .438 1.000 3.2 0.9 0.7 0.4 0.8 6.1
2019 Washington 30 7 19.8 .434 .362 .867 3.2 1.5 0.8 0.2 1.4 11.4
2020 Washington 6 6 29.8 .464 .346 .833 4.8 2.5 1.5 0.0 1.8 16.3
2021 Minnesota 14 7 22.1 .427 .314 .917 3.6 2.1 0.4 0.4 2.9 13.4
2022 Minnesota 35 31 26.9 .385 .308 .815 4.7 2.9 1.2 0.3 2.5 14.4
Career 7 years, 3 teams 118 23 19.4 .407 .340 .857 3.2 1.4 0.8 0.3 1.7 10.5

PostseasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TO PPG
2017 Dallas 1 0 23.9 .400 .333 .889 6.0 3.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 21.0
2018 Washington 9 0 10.0 .341 .000 1.000 2.3 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.7 5.1
2019 Washington 9 0 16.3 .451 .263 .895 3.3 1.0 0.2 0.2 0.7 7.6
2021 Minnesota 1 1 32.0 .476 .500 1.000 5.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 6.0 24.0
Career 4 years, 3 teams 20 1 14.7 .414 .237 .936 3.1 1.0 0.5 0.3 1.0 8.0

OverseasEdit

During her rookie season, Powers signed with Bucheon KEB Hana Bank, a South Korean club for the 2016–17 off-season.[25] However, she ended up not playing for the team due to a tear on her hip labrum that she sustained towards the end of the 2016 WNBA season.[26] She underwent hip surgery and was ruled out for the off-season with an estimated recovery period of 4–6 months,[27] In 2017, Powers signed with Fenerbahçe S.K. of the Turkish Super League for the 2017–18 off-season.[28] In 2019, Powers signed with Guangdong Vermilion Birds of the Chinese League for the 2019-20 off-season.[29]

StreamingEdit

Powers also streams, playing in a Team Liquid Pro-Am Valorant tournament in early 2020. In January 2021, she was signed as a brand ambassador and streamer by Team Liquid, and appointed chair of its Diversity & Inclusion Task Force.[30]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Calloway, Brian (April 14, 2016). "MSU's Aerial Powers taken fifth overall by Dallas in WNBA draft". Detroit Free Press. Lansing State Journal. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "Rookie Aerial Powers shines for Wings in team's debut in Dallas". The Dallas Morning News. May 2, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  3. ^ "Junior guard Aerial Powers shows potential to be one of the greats". Junior guard Aerial Powers shows potential to be one of the greats - The State News.
  4. ^ "How her nosy Washington Mystics teammates helped Aerial Powers discover her #Pride".
  5. ^ "Aerial Powers Suffers Season-Ending Injury".
  6. ^ "Michigan State's Powers is espnW player of the week". ESPN.com. February 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Aerial Powers Declares for WNBA Draft". Michigan State Spartans. April 4, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  8. ^ "Aerial Powers". www.usab.com.
  9. ^ "Aerial Powers Bio - Michigan State Official Athletic Site". Archived from the original on October 23, 2016. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "2013-14 Spartan Women's Basketball – Michigan State Individual Game-by-Game – #23 Powers, Aerial". www.MSUSpartans.com. Michigan State University. March 23, 2014. Archived from the original on January 13, 2005. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  11. ^ "2014-15 Spartan Women's Basketball – Michigan State Individual Game-by-Game – #23 Powers, Aerial". www.MSUSpartans.com. Michigan State University. April 6, 2015. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  12. ^ "2015-16 Spartan Women's Basketball – Michigan State Individual Game-by-Game – #23 Powers, Aerial". www.MSUSpartans.com. Michigan State University. May 6, 2016. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  13. ^ "Individual Career History". www.MSUSpartans.com. Michigan State University. May 6, 2016. Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  14. ^ "WUGs Gold medal Game: USA 82, Canada 63". Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  15. ^ "2015 World University Games". Retrieved April 16, 2017.
  16. ^ "Nike signs Breanna Stewart, Rachel Banham, Aerial Powers, Jonquel Jones and Tiffany Mitchell". April 18, 2016.
  17. ^ Calloway, Brian. "MSU's Aerial Powers taken fifth overall by Dallas in WNBA draft". Detroit Free Press.
  18. ^ "Diggins scores 25, Wings fall 88-83". Dallas Wings.
  19. ^ Bradshaw, Klara (July 26, 2017). "Dallas has its "Powers" now". Swish Appeal.
  20. ^ "Aerial Powers has a career-high 23 points but Wings fall to Sparks 95-74". July 31, 2017.
  21. ^ "Wings win with balanced attack 101-72 over Mercury". apnews.com. July 11, 2018.
  22. ^ "Mystics Trade Tayler Hill To Wings For Aerial Powers". wnba.com. WNBA. July 23, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "Aerial Powers scores career-high 27 points in Washington Mystics win over Connecticut Sun". Sky Sports.
  24. ^ "Aerial Powers on her new WNBA team and changing esports culture: 'You just want to be known as good, not as good for a girl'". February 1, 2021.
  25. ^ "2016-2017 WNBA Overseas Signings - Women's Basketball 24.7". August 22, 2016. Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  26. ^ Kennedy, Rene' (November 19, 2016). "Hip surgery for Powers". Swish Appeal.
  27. ^ "Aerial Powers Out 4-6 Months After Hip Surgery". November 18, 2016.
  28. ^ "WNBA Players Playing Overseas". wnba.com.
  29. ^ "WNBA Overseas Tracker: Your favorite players around the world". swishappeal.com. October 31, 2019.
  30. ^ Nicholson, Jonno (January 13, 2021). "Aerial Powers joins Team Liquid as brand ambassador". Esports Insider. Retrieved January 13, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit