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New York Liberty's Breanna Stewart wins 2023 WNBA MVP award

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New York Liberty forward BreannaStewart has been named the 2023 Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player, theWNBA announced today.

This is the second Kia WNBA MostValuable Award for Stewart and the first for a member of theLiberty. Stewart previously earned the honor in 2018 with theSeattle Storm.

Stewart becomes the eighth player inWNBA history to win the award multiple times, joining three-timewinners Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes and two-timewinners Cynthia Cooper, Elena Delle Donne, Candace Parker and A’jaWilson.

Stewart received 20 first-place votes,23 second-place votes and 17 third-place votes from a nationalpanel of 60 sportswriters and broadcasters, earning 446 totalpoints. Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas finished in secondplace with 439 points (23 first-place votes, 12 second-place votesand 25 third-place votes). Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson, the2020 and 2022 Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player, was third with 433points (17 first-place votes, 25 second-place votes, 17 third-placevotes and one fourth-place vote).

Players were awarded 10 points for afirst-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five pointsfor a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote andone point for a fifth-place vote.

With Stewart and Thomas separated byseven points, this marks the second-smallest margin between thefirst- and second-place finishers in the history of the award; theclosest finish was a two-point difference between MVP Swoopes (327points) and runner-up Jackson (325) in 2005. The 13 pointsseparating Stewart and Wilson represent the smallest margin betweenfirst- and third-place vote-getters for MVP in WNBA history,surpassing the 45-point difference between MVP Parker (234) andthird-place finisher Delle Donne (189) in 2013.

In addition, this is the second timein WNBA history that the MVP runner-up received more first-placevotes than the award recipient. In 2005, Jackson received 20first-place votes and Swoopes received 16.

In her seventh WNBA season and firstwith the Liberty, Stewartaveraged 23.0 points, 9.3 rebounds,3.8 assists, 1.57 blocked shots and 1.45 steals in 34.1 minutes in40 games. She ranked second in the WNBA in scoring, third inrebounding, 16thin assists, fourth in blocks andminutes and eighth in steals.The four-time All-WNBA FirstTeam selection also finished second in efficiency (27.6) and thirdin double-doubles (20).

Behind Stewart, New York (32-8)recorded the second-most wins in a season in league history, postedits largest average margin of victory (13.16) in a season andearned the No. 2 seed in the 2023 WNBA Playoffs presented byGoogle. The Liberty will continue the pursuit of its first WNBAchampionship when it hosts the Sun in Game 2 of the Semifinalstonight (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Connecticut leads the series1-0.

The 6-4 Stewart was named the WNBAEastern Conference Player of the Month for three of the fourpossible months of the 2023 WNBA season, May, July and August, whenNew York posted a combined 21-4 record. In addition, she washonored as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week six times.

For the second consecutive year,Stewart was the No. 2 vote-getter in fan voting for the AT&TWNBA All-Star Game, where she captained Team Stewart to a 143-127victory over Team Wilson. She also helped New York win the thirdannual WNBA Commissioner’s Cup presented by Coinbase, with theLiberty defeating the Aces 82-63 on the road in the championshipgame on Aug. 15.

Additional highlights of Stewart’s2023 season include:

Posted her first four regular-season games of 40 or morepoints, setting a WNBA single-season record and matching DianaTaurasi for the most in a career.Scored a career-high and franchise-record 45 points in 30minutes in a 90-73 win over the Indiana Fever on May 21, the mostpoints ever by a WNBA player in 30 minutes or fewer.Registered 43 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in a 99-95victory against the Phoenix Mercury on July 5, marking the secondgame of at least 40 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in WNBAhistory.Became the first player in WNBA history to have at least 25points, five rebounds and five assists in a half, doing so in thefirst half of a 95-84 win over the Atlanta Dream on July27.Set single-season franchise records for total points (919) andrebounds (371) and finished with the second-most points in a seasonby a WNBA player.Became the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 4,000 points(196 games).

Stewart, a native of North Syracuse,N.Y, and a four-time NCAA champion at the University ofConnecticut, was selected by the Storm with the No. 1 overall pickin the 2016 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm. She signed with theLiberty as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2023 season.Stewart holds career averages of 20.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.50blocks and 1.36 steals.

In honor of being named the 2023 KiaWNBA Most Valuable Player, Stewart will receive $15,450 and aspecially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.

Below are the voting results for the2023 Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player Award:

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