MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The WNBA announced Thursday morning that Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx has been named the leagues Most Valuable Player.
Moore will receive the award Thursday night in Minnesota before the Lynx face San Antonio in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals. Moore received 371 points in MVP voting and 35 of the 38 first-place votes from a panel of 38 national sports writers and broadcasters.
“It’s a great feeling to be recognized for all the hard work that I’ve put in,” said Moore when she was told in a phone interview she’d be winning the award. “I think of all the people who have helped me in my journey as a basketball player. They should be recognized with this award. It means so much to have the respect of the people who watch the game and love the game.”
Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi finished second and Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry was third, the person said.
“Maya is the Michael Jordan of this league.” Tulsa Shock coach Fred Williams said after Moore had 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists against his team in July.
Moore grew up idolizing Jordan and represents his Nike brand.
“When I think of Michael Jordan, I think of course of a winner, someone who is a great leader made his teammates better,” Moore said. “He was super competitive, had a tireless work ethic. He was also great teammate who made the players around him better. It’s a great compliment.”
It’s the first league MVP award for Moore, who led the league in scoring. She averaged a career-best 23.9 points and set a WNBA record by scoring at least 30 points 12 times, including in four straight games. The scoring mark was the third-highest average in league history only trailing Taurasi’s 25.3 points in 2006 and 24.1 points in 2008. The highlight of her season so far was a career-high 48-point performance as the Lynx beat the Atlanta Dream 112-108 in double overtime on July 22.
Moore finished second in the award voting last season before being named the finals MVP. This year she guided the Lynx to a 25-9 record and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
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