At the beginning of this year’s WNBA season, the New York Liberty surprisingly waived Layshia Clarendon.

Ten days later, the former Cal guard signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Lynx. Only hours later, the 30-year-old veteran helped the team win its first game of the WNBA season.

Clarendon, the WNBA’s first openly nonbinary and transgender player, who uses myriad pronouns, signed with the Lynx to fill a roster spot when guard Aerial Powers was lost to a hamstring injury.

Since then, with Clarendon at the helm, the Lynx have bounced back from a 0-4 start to the season to become the No. 3-seeded team and earn a first-round bye in the 2021 WNBA Playoffs.

Averaging 10.5 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.3 rebounds in 20 games with Minnesota, they have helped the Lynx mark their 13th overall playoff appearance.

In July, Minnesota sealed the deal and signed Clarendon to a rest of the season contract, meaning they will remain with the team for a potential fifth WNBA championship run.

On Friday, the WNBA announced Clarendon as the August recipient of the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award for their continuous efforts as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and Black and Brown youth.

Clarendon is passionate about full inclusion in sports and is also dedicated to supporting families of police brutality victims.

Through their work with the Clay Counseling Foundation, they work to provide restorative justice services, LGBTQ+ support, and support for victims of domestic violence.