Put some respect on Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson’s name because she earned it.
The 26-year-old was named WNBA MVP for the second time in three years on Wednesday. She was also named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year this season.
A’ja is the 7th player in WNBA history to win MVP honors more than once, joining legends like Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper, Candace Parker, and Lauren Jackson.
She said it doesn’t sound real, and it’s incredible to be on a list of players who have won more than one MVP.
It doesn’t even sound real. It’s something you don’t really even dream of. You look at the list of people who have won more than one, and it’s incredible to think about.
I smile just to have my name in the MVP conversation, because our league is so tough.
A’ja won her first MVP award in 2020 while leading her team to the WNBA Finals against the Seattle Storm in the COVID-19 bubble season in Florida.
They lost against Seattle in those Finals, but the Aces just sent Seattle packing Tuesday night (September 6) and punched their ticket to the 2022 WNBA Finals.
The Aces are the number one seed in the WNBA this year, and many favor them to win the WNBA Championship, which would be the first for the franchise.
They will play the winner of Game 5 Thursday night (September 8), against the Chicago Sky and the Connecticut Sun, in the WNBA Finals that start on Sunday (September 11).
A’ja won a championship on the collegiate level for the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2017.
She credits her coach, former WNBA star Dawn Staley, for prepping her for a pro career in the WNBA. She also credits her parents.
She said her role this year was to be a vocal and emotional leader on the team.
My role this year is to really be a vocal leader and also the emotional leader of the team. But I’m not bossing people around.
It’s got to be about mutual respect. And I’ve formed relationships and bonds with each of my teammates in a way where I know I can hold them accountable, and they can do the same for me.
It’s all a part of how I’m still developing who I am as a player and a person. It hasn’t all been easy, but I wake up every day like, ‘All right, I get another opportunity to have fun and do something that I love.’
A’ja averaged 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks this season, and she stepped it up in the playoffs to 20.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game.
She wants to bring the first championship to the Aces franchise, which was established in 1997.
Congratulations to A’ja Wilson, and LET’S GO ACES!!!
If you’re a basketball fan and haven’t seen A’ja play, check her out Sunday night in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals at 3:00 PM EST on ABC, you will not be disappointed.