Mystics' Elena Delle Donne earns second WNBA MVP award

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Washington Mystics power forward Elena Delle Donne has won her second career WNBA MVP award, the league announced Thursday.

"It's a huge thing," Delle Donne said (per ESPN). "It's something that, when my career is over, maybe I'll look back on it and brag to my kids or grandkids."

Delle Donne received 41 of 43 first-place votes with a total of 420 points from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, according to the WNBA's press release. Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was second with 167 points, while Connecticut Sun forward-center Jonquel Jones was third with 145. 

Players were given 10 points for a first-place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for a fifth-place vote.

"She hasn't been that far off from being an MVP her other years, either," Mystics coach Mike Thibault said. "When you win it once and then get it again ⁠— and you're still getting better ⁠— you have to be considered one of the best of all time."

With the 2019 honor, Delle Donne becomes the first player in WNBA history to earn the award with two different teams. She previously won the MVP in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Sky. Delle Donne joins five others who have been named MVP more than once. 

Delle Donne, who turned 30 earlier this month, ranked second in the league in scoring, averaging 19.5 points

per game. She finished the regular season fifth in rebounding with 8.3 and 11th in blocked shots with 1.29 in 31 games this season. The seven-year veteran helped the Mystics finish with a 26-8 regular-season record and earn the top seed in the WNBA playoffs. 

"We did things in the weight room that she took immediately to the court," Thibault said. "The things you see from her are a product of a great player who's been willing to work hard to improve."

She was traded to the Mystics before the 2017 season and led Washington to the WNBA Finals last year, though it lost to Seattle.

Delle Donne will be presented with the MVP award before Game 2 of the semifinals when the Mystics host the Las Vegas Aces on Thursday.