Congrats to Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams! Atlanta Dream center/forward Elizabeth Williams is the winner of the 2016 WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Samsung, the WNBA announced today. The second-year pro is the first Dream player to earn the honor.
Williams received 14 of 39 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Washington Mystics guard Tayler Hill finished second with nine votes. Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd and New York Liberty guard Sugar Rodgers tied for third with five votes apiece. Connecticut Sun guard Jasmine Thomas received two votes, followed by Dallas Wings guard/forward Karima Christmas, Chicago Sky guard Jamierra Faulkner, Minnesota Lynx forward Natasha Howard and Washington center Emma Meesseman with one vote each.
The fourth pick in WNBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm, Williams raised her scoring average from 3.3 points last season to 11.9 this season and increased her rebounding average from 3.2 to 8.1 (fifth in the WNBA). She ranked second in the league in blocks with 2.3 per game, up from 0.9 as a rookie with the Sun in 2015. The former Duke standout tied for the WNBA high in minutes with 34.7 per game after averaging 11.7 last season.
Williams started all 34 games for the Dream, leading the team in rebounding and blocks and ranking third in scoring. She helped Atlanta finish 17-17 and secure the sixth seed in the 2016 playoffs. The Dream hosts the Storm in a single-elimination playoff game tonight at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS.
This year marks the third season that Samsung, an official WNBA marketing partner, is serving as the presenting partner of the WNBA’s highest individual honors. The WNBA Performance Awards presented by Samsung program includes the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Most Improved Player, WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Rookie of the Year and the WNBA Players of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards.
In honor of being named the WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Samsung, Williams will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co. The Dream take on the Seattle Storm tonight at 8pm in 2016 WNBA play odd action! Stay tuned to HHS1987 for more WNBA news. Follow @eldorado2452 on Twitter and Instagram for all your Atlanta Dream and sports news.
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