Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson has been named the 2020 WNBA Most Valuable Player, the WNBA announced today. This is the first WNBA Most Valuable Award for Wilson, who was the 2018 WNBA Rookie of the Year and a WNBA All-Star selection in 2018 and 2019.
Wilson received 43 of 47 first-place votes and 458 total points from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, the 2018 WNBA Most Valuable Player, finished in second place with 308 points (three first-place votes). Los Angeles Sparks forward-center Candace Parker, a two-time WNBA MVP, finished in third place with 219 points. Finishing in fourth and fifth place, respectively, were Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot (135 points; one first-place vote) and Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier (36 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.
In her third WNBA season, 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 22-game season. The 6-4 forward led the WNBA in blocks, ranked second in scoring and finished sixth in rebounding. Wilson also shot a career-high 48.0 percent from the field and 78.1 percent from the free throw line. She led the WNBA in free throws made (118) and attempted (151).
Wilson scored at least 20 points in 15 of 22 games, including a season-high 31 points against the New York Liberty on Aug. 9. She recorded seven double-doubles (points-rebounds) and had two games with five blocks. Wilson was named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month for August and September, with Las Vegas posting a combined 17-2 record in those two months.
Behind Wilson, the Aces tied for the best record in the WNBA (18-4) during the regular season and earned the top seed in WNBA Playoffs 2020 presented by AT&T. Las Vegas received a double bye into the WNBA Semifinals, which will begin on Sunday, Sept. 20.
With Wilson excelling at both ends of the court, the Aces ranked second in the WNBA in both offensive rating (107.3) and defensive rating (97.2). They also led the league in rebound percentage (52.9).
Wilson, 24, was selected by Las Vegas with the first overall pick in WNBA Draft 2018 presented by State Farm after a decorated collegiate career at the University of South Carolina, where she was named the 2017-18 consensus National Player of the Year, a four-time All-America selection and a three-time SEC Player of the Year. In three WNBA seasons, Wilson holds career averages of 19.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.78 blocks.
In honor of being named the 2020 WNBA Most Valuable Player, Wilson will receive $15,450 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.