Breanna Stewart earns AP WNBA Player of the Year honors

Breanna Stewart is at all times in search of methods to enhance her sport. This season, her efforts culminated in additional profession milestones.

The Seattle Storm ahead led the WNBA in scoring for the first time in her profession, averaging 21.8 factors, and Tuesday she turned the first participant to repeat as The Associated Press WNBA Player of the Year.

Stewart obtained six votes for AP Player of the Year by the 10-member media panel narrowly edging A’ja Wilson, who obtained the different 4 votes. Stewart is the first two-time winner of the award since the AP voting started in 2016.

“It’s an honor to be acknowledged as the finest in the league,” stated Stewart, who was additionally the 2018 participant of the 12 months. “Since I began in the WNBA in 2016, simply making an attempt to get higher. Elevate myself and the staff, the league as an entire. An enormous honor, however we’re motivated by extra and that is making an attempt to win a championship.”

Stewart’s fourth-seeded Seattle Storm start their playoff run on Thursday in a best-of-three collection in opposition to Washington.

The WNBA will announce its league awards over the course of the postseason, which begins Wednesday.

Wilson was chosen as the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year, edging Alyssa Thomas and Natasha Cloud. Wilson anchored the Aces’ protection, averaging 1.9 blocks and 1.4 steals a sport.

Her Aces’ teammate Jackie Young was chosen the most improved participant.

Tanisha Wright turned the first former WNBA participant to win the AP Coach of the Year award. She was one of six former gamers to be head coaches in the league this season — 5 led their groups to the playoffs.

“It’s good follow to have former gamers on the bench whether or not they’re head coaches or assistant coaches,” Wright stated. “We’ve come up by means of the fireplace and put our stamp on the WNBA. I’m proud to be half of that group of gamers which have performed on this league and impacted it another way now.”

Other AP winners included:

— Sixth Woman of the Year. Brionna Jones was a unanimous alternative a 12 months after profitable the AP’s Most Improved Player. She averaged 13.8 factors, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals for Connecticut.

— Comeback Player of the Year. Alyssa Thomas earned the award after lacking all however two video games throughout the common season final 12 months as a result of of an Achilles harm that she suffered in January 2021. Thomas averaged 13.4 factors, 8.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists.

— Rookie of the Year. Rhyne Howard was the No. 1 choose of the Atlanta Dream and a close to unanimous alternative of the award. Howard averaged 16.2 factors and 4.6 rebounds this season, serving to Atlanta win six extra video games than final season.

“Rhy put us on her again and made an announcement for herself and the group and franchise,” Wright stated. “Carry that load and do it with the grace and poise she did it with, I’m tremendous proud of her and her accomplishments.”

— All Rookie Team. Howard was joined on the AP all-rookie staff by Shakira Austin of Washington, Rebekah Gardner of Chicago, NaLyssa Smith of Indiana and Sam Thomas of Phoenix.

— All-WNBA Teams. Stewart and Wilson had been unanimous first-team choices. Joining them on the first staff are Candace Parker, Chicago; Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas; and Sabrina Ionescu, New York. The second staff: Jonquel Jones, Connecticut; Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles; Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut; Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago; and Skylar Diggins-Smith, Phoenix.

POWER RANKINGS:

Las Vegas completed the 12 months at the prime of the energy ballot. Chicago, Connecticut and Seattle adopted the Aces. Washington was fifth with Dallas, New York and Phoenix rounding out the prime eight. Minnesota, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Indiana completed off the ballot.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Wilson of Las Vegas earned the closing AP Player of the Week honors after averaging 20.3 factors, 10 rebounds and three.3 assists to assist the Aces go 3-0 and clinch the prime seed in the playoffs. Other gamers receiving votes included Ionescu of New York, Stewart of Seattle and Chelsea Gray of the Aces,

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More AP girls’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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