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Mercury guard Leilani Mitchell named WNBA Most Improved Player

Leilani Mitchell #5 of the Phoenix Mercury handles the ball against the Los Angeles Sparks during a WNBA Playoff Game at Staples Center on September 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

The WNBA named Phoenix Mercury guard Leilani Mitchell the 2019 WNBA Most Improved Player.

Mitchell is the first player in Mercury history to pick up the accolade.

Additionally, Mitchell is the only player in WNBA and NBA history to earn the accolade twice. She previously earned the honor in 2010 when she was with the New York Liberty.

Overall, Mitchell averaged career highs in points (12.8), rebounds (3.0), and assists (4.0) this year.

Coming into the 2019 season, Mitchell had just four career games where she surpassed 20 points. This year, she had six, including a career high of 29 points Aug. 27 at New York.

Across the WNBA, Mitchell was the only player this season to shoot 40 percent from three-point range, make at least 70 three-pointers and average 3 assists per game. She’s the 17th player in WNBA history to achieve that mark.

In addition to raising her numbers across the board, Mitchell recorded her first career double-double June 28 with 18 points and 11 assists.

During the team’s July 30 game at Washington, she tied the WNBA record for most three-pointers in a game with eight.

Minnesota Lynx guard Odyssey Sims, Seattle Storm center Mercedes Russel and guard Jordin Canada also received votes.

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