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.
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.
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.
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.