Connecticut’s Curt Miller Named Inaugural WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year

NEW YORK, Sept. 10, 2017 – Connecticut Sun General Manager Curt Miller has been named the 2017 WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year, the WNBA announced today.  Miller, who also serves as the Sun’s head coach, is the inaugural recipient of the award.

Miller totaled 40 points and received six of 12 first-place votes from a panel composed of one basketball executive from each WNBA team.  Washington Mystics General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault finished second with 24 points (three first-place votes), and Dallas Wings President and CEO Greg Bibb was third with 18 points (two first-place votes).

Miller presided over a team that produced the WNBA’s fourth-best record (21-13) and earned the Sun’s first playoff berth since 2012.  As part of the WNBA Playoffs 2017 presented by Verizon, Connecticut will host the Phoenix Mercury in a second-round, single-elimination game today at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Since joining the Sun in December 2015, Miller has helped assemble and maintain a strong core of young players.  Connecticut’s current roster entered the season with an average of just over three years of WNBA experience.  The team’s most experienced player, guard Jasmine Thomas, is completing her seventh season.

In one of Miller’s key moves this year, Connecticut re-signed Thomas in February after she had become an unrestricted free agent.  Thomas became one of three Sun players selected to the WNBA All-Star Game for the first time this season, joining second-year forward/center Jonquel Jones and fourth-year forward Alyssa Thomas.

Also in February, Connecticut re-signed restricted free agent guard Alex Bentley and acquired forward Lynetta Kizer in a three-team trade.  Bentley (8.4 ppg) and Kizer (6.0 ppg) combined to average more than 14 points per game for the WNBA’s second-highest-scoring team (86.0 ppg).

Miller’s offseason efforts to solidify the Sun’s future also included a multiyear contract extension for Chiney Ogwumike, who missed the 2017 season while recovering from Achilles tendon surgery.  Ogwumike, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 WNBA Draft, was the 2014 WNBA Rookie of the Year and an All-Star selection that same year.Below are the voting results for the 2017 WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year Award:

 

2017 WNBA BASKETBALL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR VOTING RESULTS

 

Executive, Team                           1st           2nd          3rd           Total

Curt Miller, Connecticut              6             3             1             40

Mike Thibault, Washington            3             2             3             24

Greg Bibb, Dallas                          2             2             2             18

Jim Pitman, Phoenix                      —             2             1             7

Isiah Thomas, New York               1             —             1             6

Penny Toler, Los Angeles              —             1             2             5

Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota               —             1             2             5

Alisha Valavanis, Seattle               —             1             —             3

About the WNBA

The WNBA – which features 12 teams and is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world – is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity.  The league, which counts Verizon as its leaguewide marquee partner, completed its 21st regular season on Sept. 3, 2017.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education.  For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.