UConn scores big in WNBA Awards

Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart shoots over Connecticut Sun's Morgan Tuck during the second half of a WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. Both are UConn grads and Stewart is the newest WNBA rookie of the year. (Jessica Hill, File/AP)

Seattle Storm's Breanna Stewart shoots over Connecticut Sun's Morgan Tuck during the second half of a WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn. Both are UConn grads and Stewart is the newest WNBA rookie of the year. (Jessica Hill, File/AP)

As the WNBA season nears its conclusion, many former UConn women’s basketball stars are not walking away empty handed as they claimed their fair share of WNBA awards.

While Stanford product Nneka Ogwumike came away with the coveted prize of WNBA MVP, Tina Charles received the second most points in the voting. Charles led the league in scoring and rebounding which led to her receiving one of the two Peak Performer Awards. The other Peak Performer award went to former Husky Sue Bird after she led the league in assists. UConn alum Maya Moore finished third in MVP voting.

Unsurprisingly, Rookie of the Year went to recent graduate, Breanna Stewart. Stewart swept the Rookie of the Month awards every month of the season. She and fellow UConn teammate Moriah Jefferson also made the All Rookie Team along with Texas graduate Imani Boyette, South Carolina’s, Tiffany Mitchell and Michigan State’s, Aerial Powers. Stewart was also named to the WNBA All Defensive second team joining the likes of the great Tamika Catchings and Britney Griner. Many articles and organizations were even putting her up there as a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. To add to Stewart’s accolades, she also passed Lisa Leslie for the most defensive rebounds in a single season with 277. Not too bad for a rookie season.

The Associated Press First and Second Team in the WNBA was also full of UConn alumni. The first team included Tina Charles, Maya Moore and Breanna Stewart while Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi made the second team.  

To round out the awards, Defensive Player of the Year went to the Minnesota Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles. Coach of the Year went to Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve whose team is set to go to the finals. Reeve was also an assistant coach, on the Geno Auriemma coached USA women’s national basketball team that won gold in Rio. Sixth Woman of the Year went to Jantel Lavander of the Los Angeles Sparks, who has had an impressive impact coming off the bench for the Sparks. The most improved player went to Atlanta’s Elizabeth Williams.

These former UConn greats have continued to prove themselves in the WNBA, and this season is no different. They continuously perform well and outwork their opponents.


Mariana Dominguez is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.