Connecticut Sun forward Brionna Jones has won the 2022 WNBA Sixth Player of the Year award, the league announced on Thursday. Jones joins Jonquel Jones and Renee Montgomery as Sun players to take home this trophy; no team in league history has had more players earn the honor.
Jones nearly won in unanimous fashion, receiving 53 of 56 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Chicago Sky big Azura Stevens received two votes, while Washington Mystics forward Myisha Hines-Allen (in one of the more surprising moments of awards season) got the other one.
This is the second straight season that Jones has won a major honor. Last season, with Alyssa Thomas sidelined due to a torn Achilles tendon, Jones stepped into the starting lineup and played the best basketball of her career. After putting up career-high numbers in multiple categories, and making her first All-Star appearance she was named Most Improved Player.
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With Thomas fully healthy this summer, Jones was shifted back to the bench. As a starter disguised as a bench player, Jones quickly became the runaway winner for Sixth Player of the Year. She once again made the All-Star Game, and put up 13.8 points and 5.1 rebounds on 56.9 percent from the field. Her numbers dropped from last season, of course, but she was still one of the league's better bigs.
As the first player off the bench, Jones played a major role in the Sun's stellar regular season. They went 25-11, which was tied for the second-most wins in franchise history, and earned the No. 3 overall seed in the playoffs. In the 905 minutes that Jones was on the floor, the Sun had a plus-11.3 net rating.
Now, Jones is trying to help the Sun win their first championship. They made it through the first round and are now tied 1-1 in the semifinals with the defending champion Chicago Sky, who knocked them out at this stage last season. Having stolen homecourt with their Game 1 win, the Sun have a chance to close the series out at home if they can win Games 3 and 4.