Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson has been named WNBA MVP for a second time, it was announced Wednesday. Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon gives an Oscar-worthy performance in surprising A’ja Wilson with news of her MVP award. The 26-year-old Wilson also won the award in 2020, becoming the seventh player in league history to win MVP honors more than once, joining three-time winners Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes and two-time MVPs Cynthia Cooper, Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker.
The announcement came after Wilson and the Aces closed out their semifinal series against the Seattle Storm to advance to the WNBA Finals, which begin Sunday in Las Vegas.
Wilson previously had been named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year for this season. “It doesn’t even sound real,” Wilson said of winning her second MVP. “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.” As Humble as she is, A’ja Wilson is so deserving of this honor.
Wilson edged Seattle forward Breanna Stewart, who was the 2018 MVP, in voting by a media panel. Wilson received 31 of 56 first-place votes and 478 total points; Stewart was second with 446 points (23 first-place votes).
Wilson will receive $15,450 and a trophy from Tiffany & Co.
Las Vegas guard Kelsey Plum was third in the voting with 181 points, while Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas was fourth with 94. Chicago’s Parker, who won the MVP in 2008 and 2013, was fifth with 78 points, including one first-place vote.
Wilson is going after the first WNBA championship for the Aces franchise, whose history dates to 1997, when it was located in Utah. She was the Aces’ No. 1 draft pick in 2018 — the team’s first year in Las Vegas — and quickly became the face of the franchise. She led the team to the 2020 WNBA Finals, where they lost to Seattle in the COVID-19 bubble season in Florida.