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Las Vegas Aces forward Alysha Clark (7) drives past Phoenix Mercury forward Kadi Sissoko (30) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game at T-Mobile Arena Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.

Aces forward Alysha Clark has been named the WNBA’s Sixth Woman of the Year, the league announced today.

It’s the first time Clark, 36, has won the award, and she’s the third player in Aces history to win it. Dearica Hamby won it twice (2019, 2020) and Kelsey Plum won in 2021.

The 11-year veteran and two-time WNBA champion signed a two-year deal with the Aces this past offseason. Clark, a career 38% 3-point shooter, shot 38.6% from deep this season in 22.5 minutes per game.

Playing off the bench is new role for Clark. She was a starter for the past eight seasons, but embraced the new challenge.

“I’ve literally been in every role in this league — from being cut, to making it and not playing, to being a starter,” Clark said previously. “It’s just about being adaptable. Whether I’m in the first five or not, I know when I’m on the floor, I’m going to make an impact and be efficient.”

Clark averaged 6.7 points per game this season, her lowest since 2015, but her defense stood out.

Her defensive rating — an estimate of points allowed while on the floor per 100 possessions — is 102, which is tops among the Aces not named A’ja Wilson, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

“AC does all the little things. She communicates with us. She makes sure we’re all on the same page, and we need that over the course of a game,” Wilson said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen AC take a play off. I’m so glad we picked her up because I couldn’t stand being guarded by her. It’s a joy to see her moving in action.”

That importance defensively is why coach Becky Hammon trusts her. In the first-round series against the Chicago Sky, Clark was tasked with trying to aid in slowing down the Sky’s three-guard attack of Kahleah Copper, Marina Mabrey and Courtney Williams.

Chicago’s guards combined to shoot below 40% in the two-game sweep by the Aces, and the Sky were held to 70 points or fewer in both losses.

Not only was Hammon getting a tenacious defender when Clark signed with the Aces, but she got a quality person.

“I’m very particular on the character piece that you bring into your locker room. Check that off the list. She’s a phenomenal person, a phenomenal teammate,” Hammon said. “With her, you guys know I like to play small a lot, and she fits the bill with her defensive skill set, her ability to shoot the 3, the ability if (teams) do switch you can put her right down there in the post and make teams pay in different ways. She’s one of the best pros I’ve ever been around. We love her.”

Clark’s versatility is something the Aces didn’t have last year on their way to the first WNBA title in franchise history. Her presence is an important reason why the Aces finished atop the league standings at 34-6 and are in the WNBA semifinals for the fifth straight season.

The Aces will host Game 1 of the semis on Sunday against the winner of the series between the Atlanta Dream and Dallas Wings.

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun

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