LAS VEGAS -- Guard Jackie Young of the Las Vegas Aces won the WNBA's Most Improved Player Award, the league announced Monday. Young, in her fourth season, is playing with the Aces in the league semifinals against Seattle.
Game 2 of the series is Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
The 6-foot Young got 32 of 56 votes from a national media panel. New York guard Sabrina Ionescu was second with 10 votes. Phoenix guard Sophie Cunningham earned seven votes and Las Vegas guard Kelsey Plum got four. Dallas center Teaira McCowan, Seattle forward Gabby Williams and New York center Han Xu each got one vote.
Young, who turns 25 in September, was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 WNBA draft out of Notre Dame, where she won the 2018 national championship. She was a starter as a rookie, came off the bench her second season and has been a starter the past two years.
During this 2022 regular season, she averaged career highs of 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals, up from 12.2, 4.1 and 1.1 last year. But what truly sealed the award for Young was a huge improvement in her 3-point shooting. She made just five 3-pointers last regular season, and 22 combined over her first three years in the league. She made 50 this regular season at a 43.1% success rate. Young is 6 of 8 from behind the arc in the Aces' three playoff games in 2022.
Young played in her first All-Star Game this summer and participated in the Skills Challenge. She helped the Aces to the most victories (26) in franchise history as they earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. She also helped the Aces beat Chicago for the Commissioner's Cup championship in July, getting 18 points and six rebounds.