Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young has been named the 2022 Kia WNBA Most Improved Player, the WNBA announced. Young is the first player in Aces franchise history to win the award.
Young received 32 of 56 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu finished in second place with 10 votes. Phoenix Mercury guard Sophie Cunningham earned seven votes and Aces guard Kelsey Plum received four votes. Dallas Wings center Teaira McCowan, Seattle Storm forward Gabby Williams and Liberty center Han Xu each received one vote.
Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, averaged career highs of 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals this season, up from 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 2021. Young improved her three-point shooting from 25 percent last season to 43.1 percent in 2022. She ranked 14th in the WNBA in assists (3.9 apg).
The 6-0 guard was selected to the AT&T WNBA All-Star Game for the first time in her career this season and participated in the Skills Challenge at WNBA All-Star. Young helped the Aces post the most wins (26) in franchise history on their way to earning the No. 1 seed in the WNBA Playoffs presented by Google. Las Vegas averaged a WNBA-high 90.4 points per game this season, the third-highest scoring average in league history and the highest mark since 2010.
On July 26, Young scored 18 points and added six rebounds to help the Aces defeat the Chicago Sky in the Championship Game of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase, the culmination of the league’s second annual in-season competition that took place during the first half of the regular season.
Young was named WNBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from May 16-22 after averaging 21.3 points, 3.7 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals and shooting 55.3 percent from the field to help lead the Aces to three wins. It was her first career Player of the Week honor.
The Aces continue their pursuit of the first WNBA Championship in franchise history when they host the Storm in Game 2 of the Semifinals on Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The Storm leads 1-0. The series, which features a WNBA postseason record seven No. 1 overall draft picks in the starting lineups for both teams, is a rematch of the 2020 WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV, won by Seattle.
In honor of being named the WNBA Most Improved Player, Young will receive $5,150 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.
Below are the voting results for the 2022 Kia WNBA Most Improved Player Award and a list of past recipients.