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Aces’ A’ja Wilson named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces led the league with 1.9 blocks per game. (David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)

Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson has been named the WNBA’s Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced Tuesday.

This marks the first time that Wilson has been named DPOY. She is the first player in Aces history to win the award.

Wilson also was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year earlier in August.

Wilson joins Aces coach Becky Hammon and teammate Jackie Young in garnering national recognition. Hammon received Coach of the Year honors for leading the Aces to a 26-10 record in her first season at the helm, while Young won the Most Improved Player award.

Wilson earned her own award after leading the league in blocks per game this season with 1.9 and ranking second in defensive rebounds per game with 7.6.

Las Vegas ranked first in the WNBA in defensive rebounds per game (28.4) and defensive rebounds percentage (74.5), while also ranking fifth in steals (7.7 per game). Wilson also helped the team hold opponents to 31.8 points in the paint, third lowest in the league.

Despite their defensive prowess, the Aces dropped the first game of their WNBA semifinals series against the Seattle Storm, but they’ll get back on the court at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday for Game 2.

For Wilson’s efforts this season, she received 20 out of a possible 56 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas finished second in voting with 14 votes, while Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart came in third with 13 votes.

Despite finishing second in voting for Defensive Player of the Year, Thomas was named to the WNBA’s All-Defensive Second Team. She was joined by teammate Jonquel Jones, Seattle’s Ezi Magbegor and Gabby Williams and Los Angeles’ Brittney Sykes.

The All-Defensive First Team included Wilson, Stewart, Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles as well as Washington’s Natasha Cloud and Ariel Atkins.