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A’ja Wilson Is The WNBA’s 2022 Defensive Player Of The Year

For the first time in Las Vegas Aces history, a player on the team’s roster is the WNBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. The league announced its defensive honors on Tuesday afternoon, and unsurprisingly, Aces star A’ja Wilson was named the WNBA’s best player on that end of the floor for her indomitable 2022 campaign.

Wilson, who earned the fourth All-Star nod of her 5-year WNBA career earlier this season, led the WNBA in blocks per game for the second time in her career — she previously achieved that distinction back in 2020, when she was named league MVP. She was the lynchpin of a Las Vegas defense that was third in the league opponent points in the paint per game, fifth in opponent field goal percentage, and sixth in defensive rating. Additionally, she was second in the league in both defensive rebounds per game and total rebounds per game.

The WNBA released the voting for the award on its website, with Wilson receiving 20 votes, Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun receiving 14, and Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm receiving 13. You can see the how full voting shook out here.

This was not the only honor Wilson received for her defense on Tuesday afternoon, as the league also announced its first and second-team All-Defensive honorees. Wilson, unsurprisingly, led the first-team, where she was joined by Stewart, Sylvia Fowles, Natasha Cloud, and Ariel Atkins. Despite being the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award, Thomas led the second-team.