The WNBA announced that Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson has been named the 2022 Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player.
This is the second WNBA Most Valuable Award for Wilson, who previously earned the honor in 2020. She becomes the seventh player in WNBA history to win the award multiple times, joining three-time winners Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes and two-time MVPs Cynthia Cooper, Elena Delle Donne and Candace Parker.
Wilson is also the fifth player to win the Kia WNBA MVP and Kia WNBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season, and the first to do it since Jackson in 2007. The others are Yolanda Griffith (1999), Swoopes (2000 and 2002), and Leslie (2004).
Wilson received 31 of 56 first-place votes and 478 total points from a national panel of 56 sportswriters and broadcasters. Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, the 2018 WNBA Most Valuable Player, finished in second place with 446 points (23 first-place votes). Las Vegas guard Kelsey Plum finished in third place with 181 points and Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas was fourth with 94 points. The Chicago Sky’s Parker, who won the award in 2008 and 2013, finished fifth with 78 points, including one first-place vote.
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.
In her fifth WNBA season, Wilson ranked fifth in the WNBA in scoring (19.5 ppg) and second in rebounding (9.4 rpg) in 36 games. The four-time WNBA All-Star shot 50.1 percent from the field and led the league in double-doubles (17).
Wilson led the league in blocks (1.9 bpg), ranked second in defensive rebounds per game (career-high 7.6) and was 12th in steals (1.4 spg). With her leading the way, the Aces (26-10) posted the most wins in franchise history and earned the No. 1 seed in the WNBA Playoffs presented by Google. The Aces averaged a WNBA-high 90.4 points this season, the third-highest scoring average in league history and the highest mark since 2010.
Las Vegas will continue the pursuit of its first WNBA Championship in franchise history when it hosts Game 1 of the WNBA Finals presented by YouTube TV on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. ET (12 noon, PT) on ABC against the winner of the Semifinals series between the Chicago Sky and Connecticut Sun.
Wilson was named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month for May and July when Las Vegas posted a combined 18-4 record. She was the highest vote-getter in fan voting for the 2022 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game and guided Team Wilson to a 134-112 victory.
Wilson, a native of Hopkins, S.C., who played collegiately at the University of South Carolina, was selected by the Aces with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm. She holds career averages of 19.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
In honor of being named the 2022 WNBA Most Valuable Player, Wilson will receive $15,450 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.