WNBA: Former UConn players win awards

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Minnesota Lynx guard Crystal Dangerfield (2) shoots over Washington Mystics guard Emma Meesseman (33) and guard Jacki Gemelos (3) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

As the Associated Press voted on honoring players, four former Huskies were among the players recognized for their success and contributions to their teams throughout the regular season. 

A second-round pick in the 2020 draft, Crystal Dangerfield is referred to as the steal of the WNBA draft. Dangerfield has been outstanding throughout her rookie season, averaging 16.2 points and 3.6 assists per game. Her grit and willingness to put herself out there giving it her all on the court has led her to be named AP Rookie of the Year, following in the footsteps of her former UConn and current Lynx teammate Napheesa Collier, who won the award last season. The anticipation is over for the highly favored Dangerfield. Awarding Dangerfield this honor was an almost unanimous decision, as she received 15 of the 16 votes. 

While Dangerfield was named Rookie of the Year, Breanna Stewart was awarded Comeback Player of the Year after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon. Stewart fought her way back onto the court and put up an exceptional season, also earning a spot on the AP All-WNBA first team. She finished among the top 10 in the league in scoring (19.7 PPG), rebounding (8.3 RPG), blocks (1.3 BPG) and steals (1.7 SPG). 

In addition, Diana Taurasi and Collier have been named to the AP All-WNBA second team. Both players never fail to impress. Collier continues to play an imperative role for the Lynx, recording 16.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Although she did not receive Player of the Year honors (that went to A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces), she is not discredited for the work she has done. Alongside Dangerfield, the Lynx are a threat with this dynamic duo. After 17 years of professional play, Taurasi on the other hand has yet to cease in amazing viewers to what she is capable of. She finished fifth in the league in scoring with 18.7 points per game and added 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. 

Dangerfield, Collier, Stewart and Taurasi will all participate in postseason tournament play. Official awards will be released during the WNBA postseason. 

Although unnamed in postseason recognition, it must not be ignored that aside from Dangerfield, Collier, Stewart and Taurasi, five additional Huskies are participating in postseason play — Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Gabby Williams, Stefanie Dolson, Sue Bird and Morgan Tuck. 

With playoffs beginning, at least one Husky is bound to make it into the final round of play.   

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