On Monday, the WNBA selected Las Vegas Aces forward Alysha Clark 2023 Sixth Player of the Year. An Aces squad that established a WNBA record with 34 regular-season wins and received the No. 1 playoff seed relied on the experienced forward off the bench.
The sportswriters and broadcasters chose Clark 35 of 60 times. Sun's DiJonai Carrington and Sky's Dana Evans placed second and third in voting.
Due to her flexible defense and 3-point shooting, Clark, a 2010 second-round choice, has become one of the league's top role players.
The two-time All-Defensive selection played nine seasons with the Seattle Storm, winning two titles, before joining the Washington Mystics in 2021. Last winter, she joined the Aces in free agency after two seasons in D.C.
She quickly became a key player in Becky Hammon's rotation. Clark did not start a game this season, although she averaged 6.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 38.1% 3-point shooting while closing out games. Despite her modest stats, few role players had such an influence on both sides of the ball.
Clark has been crucial since Candace Parker hurt her foot midseason. Clark has played well in Parker's role with the Aces' four All-Stars when Hammon goes small. That 254-minute combination is the Aces' second-most frequent five-person bunch and boasts a plus-18.7 net rating.
Clark excelled as the Aces swept the Sky in the playoffs' first round. She scored 13 points and four rebounds in Game 1 and 14 points and six rebounds in Game 2, shooting 5-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Clark must continue to perform well for the Aces to repeat as the first team since the 2001 and 2002 Los Angeles Sparks.