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Aces' A'ja Wilson nets her first WNBA MVP award

By Sarah Valenzuela, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

The WNBA has crowned new award winners for the 2020 bubble season. They're not the winners you may have thought of the beginning of the season, but at the end of the day, they're the ones most deserving.

A'ja Wilson, the star from the Las Vegas Aces was named this season's MVP, the first of her career in the league. Wilson received 43 of 47 first-place votes with the Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart coming in second.

Wilson took the league by storm when she made her rookie debut in the 2018 season. She was named Rookie of the Year that season and was named to an All-Star in '18 and '19.

"This is surely an unprecedented year, competitive play at the highest level and you guys led that, but one player rose above the rest," Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a surprise thoroughly masked-up announcement to the Aces in a conference room somewhere at the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, Fla. Thursday afternoon. As Engelbert rolled through Wilson's stats for the season, properly crediting her with being a big part the Aces got the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Wilson covered her face as she broke out in tears of joy.

"Watch out, it's heavy," Engelbert joked as she handed the trophy to Wilson. Engelbert led the room in a series of "MVP! MVP!" chants.

"I can't thank you all enough, honestly," Wilson said in her impromptu speech. "I wouldn't be this without you guys. So many people doubted us, it was in conversations, but we did it. Of course the job's not done, but we put a lot of people on notice.

 

"I wouldn't be who I am if it wasn't for the Aces organzation," Wilson continued. "If it wasn't for the W, like, I'm truly grateful. I'm blessed. I'm just so glad to have y'all as my teammates, y'all my real dawgs for real. Man, I wasn't even honestly prepared for this."

Wilson got on a video call with her mom shortly after, showing off the trophy to her as her mom screamed in excitement. Her mom later jumped on Twitter to share her and her family's joy.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2020 WNBA MVP!!! God's Plan in God's Time," Eva Wilson tweeted. "We are so proud of you."

In just her third season in the W, Wilson averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 blocked shots and 1.23 steals in 31.7 minutes per game over the pandemic-shortened 22-game season in the wubble.

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