Moment of Pride: Only Elena Delle Donne has won MVP honors with 2 teams

For Pride month, we’ve dedicated each day of June to an individual athlete or coach whose shining moment changed LGBTQ sports.

Today, we’re looking back at Sept. 19, 2019, when the Washington Mystics defeated the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA Championship Game, and one member of the league stood above the rest as the year’s Most Valuable Player: Elena Delle Donne.

When 7-year veteran forward-guard Elena Delle Donne was named MVP last year, she held the trophy high above her head for all to see.

Las Vegas Aces v Washington Mystics - Game Two

Elena Delle Donne #11 of the Washington Mystics receives the WNBA MVP trophy from WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert during Game Two of the WNBA Semi Finals on September 19, 2019 at the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

What made her achievement even more noteworthy was that she played despite serious physical injuries, and didn’t let them slow her down… she was the first member of the Mystics to be named MVP… and the fact that she was one of six WNBA legends who have twice been honored as Most Valuable Player.

But only Delle Donne won that honor playing for two WNBA teams.

Indiana Fever v Chicago Sky - Game One

Elena Delle Donne #11 of the Chicago Sky poses for a photo with Laurel J. Richie, President of the WNBA, while receiving her WNBA MVP Trophy before the game against the Indiana Fever during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on September 17, 2015 at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill.
Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images

In 2015, she was a member of the Chicago Sky and received the MVP award for the first time.

By receiving the honor a second time in 2019, Delle Donne joined Cynthia Cooper and Candace Parker in being named MVP twice; Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes earned the honor three times in their careers, as the WNBA’s website reported.

Las Vegas Aces v Washington Mystics - Game Two

Elena Delle Donne #11 of the Washington Mystics stands for a photo with the 2019 WNBA Most Valuable Player trophy before Game Two of the 2019 WNBA playoffs against the Las Vegas Aces at St Elizabeths East Entertainment & Sports Arena on September 19, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

A national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters awarded Delle Donne 41 of 43 first-place votes and a total of 420 points. Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner finished second with 167 points. Connecticut Sun forward-center Jonquel Jones (145 points) was third, followed by Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike (128) and Seattle Storm forward Natasha Howard (121). Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot received the other two first-place votes and finished sixth with 81 points.

We’ll have another Moment of Pride story tomorrow and every day this month.


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