September 17, 2020
A’ja Wilson is 2020 WNBA MVP
Cheryl Reeve is Coach of the Year; Crystal Dangerfield takes home Rookie of the Year
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A’ja Wilson, pictured here celebrating with her Las Vegas Aces teammates, won her first WNBA MVP award for her performance in the 2020 season. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
With 43 first-place votes of a possible 47, Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson won the 2020 WNBA MVP award on Thursday.
The Aces were one of the best teams in the league during the regular season, and Wilson was a key facet of their success. She averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game while shooting an eye-popping 48 percent from the field. In 15 of the Aces’ 22 regular season games, Wilson scored 20 points or more and dropped a season-high 31 points against New York on August 9.
Wilson was the WNBA player of the month for both August and September and also won the Associated Press WNBA player of the year award.
Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart finished in second place with three first-place votes — an impressive comeback for a player who missed the 2019 WNBA season with an Achilles tear. Rounding out the top five were Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks, Courtney Vandersloot of the Chicago Sky and Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx. Vandersloot also received one first-place vote.
Also on Thursday, the league announced that Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve won the Coach of the Year award and Crystal Dangerfield was named Rookie of the Year.
Reeve led her team to a 14-8 record and the fourth seed, despite losing Sylvia Fowles to a calf injury for nearly a month down the stretch. The Lynx also had Odyssey Sims, a 2019 all star, join the team late after returning from maternity leave.
The Coach of the Year voting was closer than both MVP and Rookie of the Year, with Reeve receiving 25 of the 47 votes. Aces coach Bill Laimbeer received 17 votes, and Derek Fisher, Mike Thibault and Sandy Brondello finished out the top five.
Dangerfield becomes the first player not selected in the first round of the draft to win Rookie of the Year since the award’s inception in 1998. The Lynx selected Dangerfield with the No. 16 overall pick of the 2020 draft.
With an average of 16.2 points, 3.6 assists and two rebounds in 30 minutes per game, the rookie point guard had a large role in the Lynx earning the fourth seed for the playoffs despite dealing with injuries throughout the season.
Dangerfield received 44 of 47 votes. Atlanta’s Chennedy Carter finished second with two votes and Dallas’ Satou Sabally received one to finish third.
Dangerfield is the fifth player in Lynx history to win Rookie of the Year and was the WNBA’s Rookie of the Month in both August and September.