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Storm’s Breanna Stewart named 2018 WNBA MVP

Breanna Stewart is the 2018 WNBA MVP. | Elaine Thompson/AP Photo

Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart earned 2018 WNBA MVP honors for the first time in her career Sunday. The league announced the award in the morning before the Storm take on the Phoenix Mercury in the opener of their postseason series at 5 p.m. ET.

Stewart, a third-year pro out of UConn, led the top-seeded Storm to a 26-8 regular-season record, the franchise’s best mark since the 2010 team that eventually won the championship. She averaged 21.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting a career-high 53 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range.

The award adds to an already-crowded resume for one of the top young players in women’s basketball. At UConn, Stewart won four national championships, three AP National Player of the Year awards and a Final Four Most Outstanding Player trophy. In her first three years with the Storm, she’s won Rookie of the Year, league MVP and earned All-Star honors twice.

Stewart, who turns 25 on Monday, told ESPN that this award would be particularly special.

“In this league, I’m playing against however many former national players of the year, and going against the best competition every night,” Stewart said. “And really trying to play my best and show that to everyone.

“We have team goals, and I have individual goals for myself. And being MVP was a goal that I had. I wanted to prepare like this was going to be an MVP-type season. To go out and leave everything on the court.”