WNBA rookie Kate Martin gave a lot of credit to Las Vegas Aces teammate A’ja Wilson for her early success in the league. Martin called Wilson the “best player in the world” and the “best leader I’ve ever been around.”

Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson celebrates
Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson celebrates / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

WNBA rookie Kate Martin has found herself in a perfect situation in Las Vegas. The former Iowa standout was selected in the second round of the 2024 WNBA by the Aces, joining the back-to-back league champs with stars like A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum on the roster.

Sunday, Martin started for the first time in her WNBA career and scored a career-high 13 points, shooting five-of-seven from the floor and converting on all three of her shots from 3-point range. She also had four rebounds and three assists.

Unfortunately, that didn’t lead to a win for the Aces, who feel 96-92 to the Los Angeles Sparks. But after the game, Martin opened up about her opportunity to receive a starting role for one of the top teams in the league.

That’s when she gushed about the play and leadership of Wilson — a former No. 1 overall pick, five-time WNBA All-Star, two-time league champion and two-time WNBA MVP.

“All my teammates have been in the league for a very long time and I’m sitting next to the best player in the world,” Martin said, referring to Wilson. “And not only is she the best player in the world, she’s the best leader I’ve ever been around.

“She brings people together and she has so much confidence in every single person on our team, and that just builds up our locker room so much. Like, for the best player in the world to tell me to keep shooting it and stay aggressive, I feel on top of the world. It’s just cool that I have vets like that who are gonna support me and they respect me, too.”

Although the Aces are off to a rocky start, sitting 5-4 through their first nine games, Wilson continues to play at an MVP level. She’s averaging 28.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game, leading the WNBA in all three statistical categories.

Wilson is also averaging 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals per contest.

In her first season in the WNBA, Martin is averaging 5.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. She’s shooting better than 39% from 3-point range, as well.

Just making a roster in the WNBA is a difficult task for rookies. Martin has not only earned a valuable spot in Las Vegas, she’s making a significant impact for the Aces. She has no problem giving a lot of the credit to her teammates.