WNBA awards 2022: Aces' A'ja Wilson wins MVP
Las Vegas Aces center A'ja Wilson won the 2022 WNBA MVP award after averaging 19.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Wilson became the seventh WNBA player to win at least two MVP awards, joining Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker. More impressive, though, Wilson also became just the third WNBA player to win multiple MVP awards in her first five seasons, along with Cooper and Swoopes, and the youngest ever after she turned 26 in August.
Wilson also won WNBA Defensive Player of the Year this year — making her the fifth player to win both awards in the same season and first since Jackson in 2007. The others were Yolanda Griffith (1999), Swoopes (2000 and 2002) and Leslie (2004).
The moment @BeckyHammon told @_ajawilson22 that she just earned her second @WNBA M'VP 🥺❤️ pic.twitter.com/Z302OWI4Th
— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) September 7, 2022
She earned 31 of the 56 first-place votes, while the Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart earned 23. Wilson's teammate, Kelsey Plum, finished third.
It has truly been an award-laden season for Wilson, who just turned 26 in August. Not only did she win her second MVP, first Defensive Player of the Year award and fourth All-Star nod, but Wilson also helped lead the Aces to the No. 1 seed in the WNBA playoffs with a 26-10 record.
This is also statistically one of Wilson's best seasons in the WNBA since she was drafted first overall out of South Carolina in 2018. She shot a career-high 50.1 percent from the field during the regular season with 9.4 rebounds per game and 7.6 defensive rebounds per game (both career-bests). Wilson also led the WNBA with 1.9 blocks per game and 17 double-doubles.
The Aces are headed back to the WNBA Finals as well after winning the semifinal series against the Seattle Storm on Tuesday. Wilson has averaged 20.5 points and 10.8 rebounds during these playoffs. The Aces last played for a WNBA championship in 2020 when Las Vegas lost to the Storm — which was also Wilson's first MVP season.
With all her regular season personal accolades locked up, Wilson and the Aces have their eyes trained on the WNBA Finals after winning the semifinal series against the Seattle Storm on Tuesday. It'll be the first time the Aces will compete for a title since 2020 when Las Vegas lost to Seattle — which was also Wilson's first MVP season. They'll take on either the Chicago Sky or the Connecticut Sun after that series wraps up.