On Tuesday, the Associated Press announced its WNBA honors, with multiple former UConn Huskies among the honorees. Breanna Stewart headlined the awards by earning the Player of the Year award, beating A’ja Wilson by just a single vote.
Stewart made waves in the off-season after her decision to leave the Seattle Storm to move back to the East Coast to join the New York Liberty. It seems to be working out.
Stewart has been a dominant force all season, averaging a career-best 23 points per game along with 9.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. The forward finished the regular season as second in the league for scoring and helped the Liberty finish the regular season with the second-best record in the league as well. Stewart’s nomination makes her the first player to not only repeat as the Associated Press Player of the Year but also be the first to win it three times.
“To be honored as the AP Player of the Year is an incredible honor,” Stewart told the Associated Press. “It’s quite different after switching teams and coming to New York and having such a positive season going 32-8. It’s been a lot of amazing basketball going on this year and makes you feel good going into the playoffs.”
Additionally, Napheesa Collier earned a share of the Comeback Player of the Year award. Collier shared the award with Britteny Griner, who returned to the league after spending 10 months in a Russian prison. Collier missed almost all of last year’s season after she gave birth to her first child. Returning to the Minnesota Lynx, Collier had her best season yet, averaging a career-best of 21 points along with 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
On top of their individual awards, Stewart and Collier earned All-WNBA team selections as well. Stewart was unanimously selected to the All-WNBA first team, with Collier being selected to the second team. Dorka Juhász, a second-round pick on the Lynx with Collier, was named to the All-Rookie team. She’s averaging 6.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in her first season.
Collier, Juhász, and the Lynx are in Connecticut tonight as they get ready to take on the Sun for the WNBA Playoff opener.