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WNBA awards: Mercury’s Griner, Diggins-Smith highlight All-WNBA first team

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Two members of the WNBA finalist Mercury, center Brittney Griner and guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, were named to the All-WNBA first team on Friday. 

The two Phoenix stars were joined by 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones and Storm stars Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd on the first team.

Jones was voted All-WNBA first team on all 49 ballots submitted by a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Diggins-Smith received the second-most first-team votes, with 37. She averaged 17.7 points and 5.3 assists per game this season. 

Griner finished with the third-most first-team votes, with 31, after averaging 20.5 points and a career-high 9.5 rebounds per contest. 

One of their Finals opponents, Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot, was named to the All-WNBA second team. Vandersloot, who led the WNBA in assists for the fifth consecutive season, was joined by Aces forward A’ja Wilson, Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, Mystics forward Tina Charles and Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale on the All-WNBA second team. 

The Sky will look to take control of the 2021 Finals on Friday night with Game 3 set to be played in Chicago and the series currently leveled at one game apiece. 

In other WNBA awards, Kelsey Plum was named the Sixth Player of the Year last week. Jones took home the league’s MVP award, while teammate Brionna Jones won the Most Improved Player award and coach Curt Miller was named the Coach of the Year. Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. New York’s Michaela Onyenwere was award the Rookie of the Year.

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