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Storm forward Breanna Stewart honored with WNBA MVP award

SEATTLE — Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart added another notch to her extensive belt of recognition Sunday, becoming the second Storm player to win MVP.

Stewart was given the award prior to Seattle opening its best-of-five semifinal playoff series against Phoenix. Stewart finished with 372 total points in the voting, easily outpacing Dallas’ Liz Cambage, who finished second with 231 points. Stewart received 33 of 39 first-place votes.

“I think each award I’ve won for its respective level means a lot, but to be the MVP of the WNBA, the best league in the world, it’s at the top,” Stewart said before Game 1. “And to do it with this franchise, this team, my teammates I couldn’t have imagined it any other way.”

Stewart was the league’s rookie of the year in 2016, but had her finest professional season this year. She averaged 21.8 points and 8.4 rebounds as Seattle went 26-8 in the regular season. She had 22 games of 20 or more points scoring.

According to Q13’s news partner The Seattle Times, Stewart, 23, is the third-youngest WNBA MVP winner. She received the honor just one day before her birthday on Aug. 27. The Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker and former Storm star Lauren Jackson are both the first and second youngest to be named WNBA MVP at 22 years old.

Stewart was honored alongside Storm guard Sue Bird, who was presented the 2018 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, and forward Natasha Howard, who was recognized as the 2018 WNBA Most Improved Player.

The Storm took on the Phoenix Mercury Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.