Las Vegas Ace’s Aja Wilson was named WNBA Team Player of the Year for the second time

Las Vegas Aces straight ahead Aja Wilson The WNBA MVP has been named for the second time, it was announced Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Wilson also won the award in 2020, becoming the seventh player in league history to win the MVP award more than once, joining three-time winners Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoops and two-time Player of the Year Cynthia Cooper, Elena Delle Donne And the Candice Parker.

The announcement came a day after Wilson and the Aces closed the semi-final series against Seattle Storm To advance to the WNBA Finals, which begins Sunday in Las Vegas.

Wilson was previously named WNBA Defensive Player of the Season.

“It just doesn’t feel real,” Wilson said of her second MVP win. “It’s something you don’t really dream about. You look at the list of people who have won more than one, and it’s amazing to think about. I smile just to get my name [the] Conversation with the best player, because our league is very difficult.”

Wilson outperformed Seattle forward Brianna Stewart, who was the player of the year 2018, was voted in by a media panel. Wilson had 31 of 56 first-place votes and 478 total points; Stewart came in second with 446 points (23 votes in first).

Wilson will receive $15.450 and a trophy from Tiffany & Co.

Las Vegas goalkeeper Kelsey Bloom He ranked third in the vote with 181 points Connecticut Sun straight ahead Alyssa Thomas He finished fourth with a score of 94. Parker of Chicago, who won the MVP award in 2008 and 2013, came in fifth with 78 points, including one vote for first place.

Wilson goes after his first WNBA Series Aces Championship, dating back to 1997, when they were located in Utah. It was the Aces’ first draft of 2018 – the team’s first year in Las Vegas – and quickly became the face of the franchise. She led the team to the 2020 WNBA Finals, where they lost to Seattle in Florida’s COVID-19 bubble season.

The Aces, ranked No. 1, are heading to this year’s WNBA Finals with a domestic court advantage in their best of five series. They await the winner in Game Five on Thursday in another semi-final between No. 2 ranked Chicago and No. 3 ranked Connecticut.

In addition to two individual Wilson Awards, his teammate Aces Jacky Young He was named League Player of the Year, while Becky Hammon was named Coach of the Year.

But what matters to Wilson is getting a title. During the regular season, she averaged 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocked hits, and led the league with 17 doubles. During the playoffs, her averages rose to 20.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.3 pieces. Topped 30 points in consecutive double-double shows against Seattle in games 2 and 3.

And in Tuesday’s game, which ended in a 97-92 win over Storm, Wilson scored 23 points, 13 rebounds, and three cracked shots.

The former South Carolina star, who led the Gamecocks into their first national championship in 2017, also won an Olympic gold in 2021.

Wilson refers to her relationship with her parents and the South Carolina coach Fajr Staly In setting her up for a professional career she has been outstanding throughout the five seasons.

“My role this year is to be an honest leader and also the emotional leader of the team,” Wilson said. “But I don’t manage people. It has to be about mutual respect. And I’ve formed relationships and bonds with each of my teammates in a way that I know I can hold them accountable for, and they can do the same for me.”

“It’s all part of how I’m still developing who I am as a player and as a person. It wasn’t all easy, but I wake up every day like, ‘Okay, I have another chance to have fun and do something I love.'”

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