She’s been the rookie of the year, the leading vote-getter for all-star games and emerged as the face of a league. Now Elena Delle Donne can add one more line to her resume:
Most Valuable Player.
Delle Donne on Wednesday was named the WNBA MVP, garnering 38 of 39 first-place votes. In her third professional season, Delle Donne won the scoring title by averaging 23.4 points per game and finishing third in rebounding and blocks while shooting 95 percent from the free-throw line.
A year removed from a 2014 season where she lost half the campaign to a flare-up of Lyme Disease symptoms and then struggled with a back problem during the playoffs, Delle Donne appeared in a career-high 31 games and led the Sky to a 21-13 record despite the loss of franchise center Sylvia Fowles. Their 21 wins are the second-most in franchise history, and the Sky have a legitimate shot to defend their Eastern Conference title and maybe win the team’s first WNBA crown.
Delle Donne and the Sky open the playoffs Thursday against Indiana at the UIC Pavilion.
Minnesota’s Maya Moore got the other first-place vote.