2022 WNBA awards: Aces' A'ja Wilson, Jackie Young, Dream's Rhyne Howard win major WNBA awards

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Here’s a list of 2022 WNBA award winners originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

With the 2022 WNBA Playoffs in full swing and the season swiftly ending, the league has already begun handing out this year's awards and continued to celebrate the brightest and the best from this year's regular season.

Here's a full look at all the winners of the league awards that have been given out and looking ahead to the final awards that are yet to be announced:

Defensive Player of the Year: A'ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

Las Vegas Aces power forward A'ja Wilson took home this year’s DPOY award in one of the closest races we've seen this awards season. Wilson received 20 votes from a national panel of 56 sportswriters and broadcasters, edging out Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (14 votes) and Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart (13 votes) for the award.

This is the first time that the 26-year-old star has won the award and it also makes her the first player in Aces franchise history to do so. Wilson led the league in blocks at 1.9 per game, and also averaged 7.6 defensive rebounds and 1.4 steals this season.

Rookie of the Year: Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream

It comes as no surprise that the 2022 WNBA No. 1 overall draft pick has snagged up this year’s Rookie of the Year award. The Atlanta guard lit up her rookie season averaging 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

Among her rookie class, she ranked first in scoring and assists, and sixth in rebounding.

Most Improved Player: Jackie Young, Las Vegas Aces

The Lady Aces continue to rake in the awards this season after Young was named Most Improved Player. 

Since her rookie debut in 2019, the Aces guard took it to another level this season averaging 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game, while shooting 43.1 percent from 3-point territory.

Sixth Player of the Year: Brionna Jones, Connecticut Sun

Sun forward Brionna Jones won this year’s WNBA Sixth Player of the Year award in a nearly unanimous fashion, the league announced Thursday.

Jones received 53 of 56 votes, edging out Chicago Sky forward/center Azurá Stevens (two votes) and Washington Mystics forward Myisha Hines-Allen (one vote).

The six-year veteran averaged 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.22 steals per game this season. 

Coach of the Year: Becky Hammon, Las Vegas Aces

When the Aces decided to let go of long-time coach Bill Laimbeer, bringing in Becky Hammon proved to be the best choice for the franchise. Hammon led the Aces to a franchise-record 26 games where they earned the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. Hammon is the third former player to win the award. 

Executive of the Year: James Wade, Chicago Sky

James Wade, head coach and general manager of the Chicago Sky, has shown that two jobs are better than one. 

Under his leadership, the Sky finished tied for the best record in the regular season (26-10) and they even finished with the highest winning percentage in franchise history (.722). He also facilitated the re-signing of Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Kahleah Copper, and the signing of Emma Meesseman and Rebekah Gardner in free agency.

Sportsmanship Award: Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx

Retiring Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles was awarded this year's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

The award is presented each season to a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, including ethical behavior, fair play and integrity.

Fowles, who finished her 15-year career this season as the league's all-time leading rebounder, is the second Lynx player ever to receive the award. Fowles averaged 14.4 points and 9.8 rebounds this season for the Lynx.

WNBA Peak Performers

Stewart, Fowles and Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud won the 2022 WNBA Peak Performer Award in scoring, rebounding and assists, respectively.

WNBA All-Rookie Team

Here are the five WNBA players who were voted onto the 2022 WNBA’s All-Rookie Team: 

Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream

NaLyssa Smith, Indiana Fever

Shakira Austin, Washington Mystics

Queen Egbo, Indiana Fever

Rebekah Gardner, Chicago Sky

WNBA All-Defensive Team

Defense wins championships and these 10 players exemplify that on the hardwood. 

First Team

A'ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx

Natasha Cloud, Washington Mystics

Ariel Atkins, Washington Mystics

Second Team

Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun

Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun

Ezi Magbegor, Seattle Storm

Brittney Sykes, Los Angeles Sparks

Gabby Williams, Seattle Storm

The rest of this year’s awards will be handed out over the next two weeks:

Sept. 7: Kia WNBA Most Valuable Player

Sept. 15: All-WNBA First and Second Teams