NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2021 – Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones has been named the 2021 Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player, the WNBA announced today. This is the first WNBA Most Valuable Award for Jones, who was the 2018 WNBA Sixth Player of the Year and 2017 WNBA Most Improved Player.
Jones received 48 of 49 first-place votes and 487 total points from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner finished in second place with 224 points (one first-place vote). Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, the 2018 WNBA Most Valuable Player, finished in third place with 156 points. Finishing in fourth and fifth place, respectively, were Minnesota Lynx center and 2017 WNBA MVP Sylvia Fowles (137 points) and Washington Mystics center and 2012 WNBA MVP Tina Charles (127 points).
Players were awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote and one point for a fifth-place vote.
In her fifth WNBA season, Jones averaged 19.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.26 blocked shots and 1.26 steals in 31.7 minutes in 27 games. The 6-6 forward led the WNBA in rebounding and defensive rebounding (8.7 drpg) and ranked fourth in scoring and 10th in blocks. Her efficiency rating of 25.4 was second only to Griner (26.0).
Jones, 27, won the WNBA Peak Performer Award as the league’s top rebounder for the third time in five seasons. She also led the WNBA in rebounding in 2017 and 2019.
Behind Jones, the Sun posted the highest winning percentage in franchise history (.813) and finished the regular season with 14 consecutive victories for the fourth-longest winning streak in WNBA history. Connecticut also earned the league’s best record (26-6) and the No. 1 seed in the WNBA Playoffs 2021 presented by Google. The Sun, seeking to win its first WNBA championship, hosts the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky in Game 1 of a Semifinals series tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Jones scored at least 20 points in 12 of 27 games, including a career-high 31 points vs. the New York Liberty on June 5 and again at Washington on Aug. 31. She also grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds at New York on July 11. Jones finished the season with 18 double-doubles (points-rebounds).
A native of the Bahamas, Jones was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for May, August and September. Connecticut posted a combined 18-2 record in those three months.
Jones was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft before Connecticut acquired her draft rights in a trade that night. She holds career averages of 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.42 blocks.
In honor of being named the 2021 WNBA Most Valuable Player, Jones will receive $15,450 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co.
Below are the voting results for the 2021 Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player Award and a list of past recipients.
|VOTING RESULTS: 2021 KIA WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD|||||||||||||
|Player (Team)||1st Place Votes
|2nd Place Votes
|3rd Place Votes
|4th Place Votes
|5th Place Votes
|Jonquel Jones (Connecticut)||48||1||0||0||0||487|
|Brittney Griner (Phoenix)||1||23||6||5||8||224|
|Breanna Stewart (Seattle)||0||5||12||17||10||156|
|Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota)||0||8||9||10||6||137|
|Tina Charles (Washington)||0||6||11||7||9||127|
|A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas)||0||5||10||7||14||120|
|Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix)||0||1||0||1||1||11|
|Arike Ogunbowale (Dallas)||0||0||1||0||0||5|
|Candace Parker (Chicago)||0||0||0||1||1||4|
|Brionna Jones (Connecticut)||0||0||0||0||1||3|
WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD WINNERS
|2021||Jonquel Jones||Connecticut Sun|
|2020||A’ja Wilson||Las Vegas Aces|
|2019||Elena Delle Donne||Washington Mystics|
|2018||Breanna Stewart||Seattle Storm|
|2017||Sylvia Fowles||Minnesota Lynx|
|2016||Nneka Ogwumike||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2015||Elena Delle Donne||Chicago Sky|
|2014||Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|2013||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2012||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun|
|2011||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever|
|2010||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|2009||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|2008||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2007||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|2006||Lisa Leslie||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2005||Sheryl Swoopes||Houston Comets|
|2004||Lisa Leslie||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2003||Lauren Jackson||Seattle Storm|
|2002||Sheryl Swoopes||Houston Comets|
|2001||Lisa Leslie||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2000||Sheryl Swoopes||Houston Comets|
|1999||Yolanda Griffith||Sacramento Monarchs|
|1998||Cynthia Cooper||Houston Comets|
|1997||Cynthia Cooper||Houston Comets|
About Kia America
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About the WNBA
Currently in its 25th season in 2021, the WNBA is a bold, progressive basketball league that stands for the power of women. Featuring 12 teams, the W is a unique sports property that combines competition and entertainment with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility. Through its world-class athletes, the in-game fan experience, TV and digital broadcasts, digital and social content and community outreach programs, the league celebrates and elevates the game of basketball and the culture around it.
In 2020, the WNBA and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) signed a groundbreaking eight-year CBA that charts a new course for women’s basketball—and women’s sports overall—with a focus on increased player compensation, improvements to the player experience, expanded career development opportunities, and resources specifically tailored to the female professional athlete. Key elements of the agreement are supported through the league’s new platform, WNBA Changemakers, with AT&T, the WNBA’s Marquee Partner and inaugural Changemaker, as well as fellow inaugural Changemakers Deloitte and Nike, and the recent addition of Google. During the 2020 season, the WNBA and WNBPA launched the WNBA Justice Movement forming the Social Justice Council with the mission of being a driving force of necessary change and continuing conversations about race and voting rights, among other important societal issues.