NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2015 – Connecticut Sun center/forward Kelsey Bone is the winner of the 2015 WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Samsung, the WNBA announced today. Bone received 14 of 39 votes from a panel of national and local sportswriters and broadcasters.
Indiana Fever guard Shenise Johnson finished second with nine votes. Los Angeles Sparks center Jantel Lavender and Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot tied for third with five votes apiece. Washington Mystics center Stefanie Dolson received three votes, followed by fellow teammate and center Emma Meesseman with two votes. Tulsa Shock guard Riquna Williams received one vote.
Bone raised her scoring average from 9.3 points in 2014 to 15.4 in 2015. She showed improvement as a rebounder, averaging 6.3 rebounds in 2015 as compared to 5.3 in 2014. Bone also averaged 2.0 assists, up from 1.4 a season ago. Bone lifted her field goal percentage from 45.1 last season to 50.8, and her defensive rebound average went from 3.6 to 4.8.
Bone, the No. 5 overall draft pick in 2013, started every game she appeared in for the Sun (33-of-33) and led Connecticut in scoring and rebounding. Among all WNBA players, Bone placed seventh in scoring and fifth in field goals made (6.8 per game).
This year marks the second season that Samsung, an official WNBA marketing partner, is serving as the presenting partner of the WNBA’s highest individual honors. The WNBA Performance Awards presented by Samsung program includes the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Most Improved Player, WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Rookie of the Year, and the WNBA Players of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards.
In honor of being named the WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Samsung, Bone will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy.
Here is a breakdown of how Bone improved between 2014 and 2015 statistically:
Scoring Avg. 9.3 15.4
Points 317 509
Reb Avg. 5.3 6.2
Rebounds 181 208
Def. Rebs 124 159
Assists 46 66
Steals 22 26
Blocks 17 19
Made FGs 137 224
FG Attempts 304 441
FG% .451 .508
Avg. Minutes 23.3 29.1
Games in double figures 17 27
20-point games 1 7