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Las Vegas Aces forward Alysha Clark was named the WNBA’s Sixth Player of the Year on Monday.
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Clark was the overwhelming winner, collecting 35 first-place votes. The Connecticut Sun’s DiJonai Carrington was next on the list with 13.
The 36-year-old averaged 6.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game, and she shot 38.6 percent from three-point range.
Clark hadn’t occupied a full-time bench role since her second year in the WNBA in 2013, but she seamlessly adjusted to the change with Las Vegas.
She helped to provide some of the floor-spacing the Aces lost when they traded Dearica Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks in the offseason. In addition, her defensive contributions became even more important after Candace Parker underwent foot surgery in July.
Head coach Becky Hammon called Clark “a phenomenal person, phenomenal teammate,” per ESPN.com’s Michael Voepel.
“I just said to her, ‘You know I like to play small a lot,’ and she just fit the bill with her defensive skill set, ability to shoot the three,” Hammon said. “Her leadership defensively—she’s always talking, when she’s on the bench or on the floor. I appreciate that because some of the best defensives, they’re never quiet. They’re talking all the time. So we love her.”
Winning Sixth Player of the Year adds to Clark’s incredible journey in the WNBA.
In 2018, Voepel detailed how the 5’11” wing totally overhauled her game, evolving from a high-volume scorer in college to an elite three-and-D player. Her contributions were vital in the Seattle Storm’s two WNBA titles in 2018 and 2020.
Reflecting on the first of those championships, Clark was overcome with emotion.
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Now, she could potentially become a three-time champion while getting utilized in an entirely different way, further underscoring the malleability that has served her so well across 11 seasons.