Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA Most Valuable Player
NBA.com Global on Sep 20, 2019 06:09 AM
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2018, file photo, Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) shoots against the Seattle Storm during the second half of Game 3 of the WNBA basketball finals, in Fairfax, Va. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
WNBA press release
NEW YORK – Washington Mystics forward-guard Elena Delle Donne has been named the 2019 WNBA Most Valuable Player, the WNBA announced today. The seven-year veteran has won her second MVP award and become the first player in WNBA history to earn the honor with two different teams. She was also selected as MVP in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky.
As the Mystics’ first MVP winner, Delle Donne joins five other WNBA players who have multiple MVP trophies. Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes have all been named MVP three times, while Cynthia Cooper and Candace Parker have won the award twice each.
Delle Donne received 41 of 43 first-place votes and a total of 420 points from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner finished second with 167 points. Connecticut Sun forward-center Jonquel Jones (145 points) was third, followed by Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (128) and Seattle Storm forward Natasha Howard (121). Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot received the other two first-place votes and finished sixth with 81 points.
Players were awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote and one point for a fifth-place vote.
The 6-5 Delle Donne, who led Washington to a league-best 26-8 record and the No. 1 seed in the 2019 WNBA Playoffs, will be presented with the MVP award tonight before the Mystics host the Las Vegas Aces. Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals series will tip off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Washington leads the best-of-five series 1-0.
Delle Donne ranked second in the WNBA in scoring (19.5 ppg), fifth in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and 11th in blocked shots (1.29 bpg) while playing 31 games this season. She became the first player in WNBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field (51.5), 40 percent from three-point range (43.0) and 90 percent from the free throw line (WNBA-high 97.4).
The Wilmington, Del., native posted the highest free throw percentage ever for a player with at least 100 attempts (114-of-117) and made her last 64 attempts of the regular season. She also ranked seventh in the league in field goal percentage and fourth in three-point field goal percentage.
With Delle Donne leading the way, the Mystics recorded the highest single-season offensive rating in WNBA history, scoring 112.9 points per 100 possessions.
Delle Donne’s superlatives in 2019 included being voted to the WNBA All-Star Game for the sixth time and sweeping all three Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors. She was also named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week seven times, matching Tina Charles’ record for the most Player of the Week honors in a conference in a season.
Delle Donne, 30, was selected by the Sky with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft. She spent four seasons with Chicago before joining the Mystics prior to the 2017 season. At the University of Delaware, she was a two-time consensus All-America First Team selection and three-time Colonial Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
In honor of being named the 2019 WNBA Most Valuable Player, Delle Donne will receive $15,000 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.