Minnesota’s Maya Moore has won the WNBA most valuable player award, a person close to the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.
Moore will receive the award Thursday night in Minnesota before the Lynx face San Antonio in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals. The person spoke to The Associated Press late Wednesday night on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.
“It’s a great feeling to be recognized for all the hard work that I’ve put in,” said Moore when she was told in a phone interview she’d be winning the award. “I think of all the people who have helped me in my journey as a basketball player. They should be recognized with this award. It means so much to have the respect of the people who watch the game and love the game.”
Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi finished second and Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry was third, the person said.
“Maya is the Michael Jordan of this league.” Tulsa Shock coach Fred Williams said after Moore had 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists against his team in July.
Moore grew up idolizing Jordan and represents his Nike brand.
“When I think of Michael Jordan, I think of course of a winner, someone who is a great leader made his teammates better,” Moore said. “He was super competitive, had a tireless work ethic. He was also great teammate who made the players around him better. It’s a great compliment.”
It’s the first league MVP award for Moore, who led the league in scoring. She averaged a career-best 23.9 points and set a WNBA record by scoring at least 30 points 12 times, including in four straight games. The scoring mark was the third-highest average in league history only trailing Taurasi’s 25.3 points in 2006 and 24.1 points in 2008.
Moore finished second in the award voting last season before being named the finals MVP. This year she guided the Lynx to a 25-9 record and the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.