Aces F Alysha Clark named WNBA Sixth Player of the Year

Las Vegas Aces forward Alysha Clark was named the WNBA's Sixth Player of the Year on Monday.

An 11th-year pro, Clark won the award in her first season coming off the bench after she became a full-time starter early in her career. Clark averaged 6.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists while shooting 38.6% from 3-point distance in 22.5 minutes per game for Las Vegas in the regular season.

She's the No. 1 option off the bench for the defending champions, who earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and advanced to the semifinals after sweeping the Chicago Sky in the best-of-three first-round series. She scored 14 points in Sunday's series clincher against Chicago.

She played in 39 regular-season games for the Aces and came off the bench in 38 games. Her minutes became even more valuable for the Aces after Candace Parker had surgery for a left foot fracture and was ruled out indefinitely.

Alysha Clark made the most of her new role off the bench in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Alysha Clark made the most of her new role off the bench in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

Clark earned 35 of 50 first-place votes for the award, beating Connecticut Sun wing DiJonai Carrington (13 votes) and Sky guard Dana Evans (nine votes). Dallas Wings center Kalani Brown, New York Liberty guard Marine Johannès and Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb each received one vote.

Clark has made the All-Defensive Team twice in her career. The Aces also have a history of Sixth Player of the Year awards, as Kelsey Plum (2021) and Dearica Hamby (2020, 2019) also earned the honor.

The Aces will face the winner of the first-round series between the Wings and Atlanta Dream in the semifinals. The Wings hold a 1-0 series lead with Game 2 scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Tuesday (ESPN). The semifinals begin Sunday in Las Vegas.