Twenty-three years ago, Michele Van Gorp became the first former Blue Devil to play in a WNBA Finals. Fourteen years ago, Wanisha Smith became the first former Blue Devil to play for a WNBA championship team. Ten years ago, Karima Christmas-Kelly became the first former Blue Devil to play in and win a WNBA Finals-clinching game. Six years ago, Chelsea Gray and Alana Beard became the first pair of former Blue Devils to secure a WNBA title as teammates.
Sunday, Gray became the first former Blue Devil—men’s or women’s basketball—to win a Finals MVP award.
After averaging 18.2 points, six assists, three rebounds and 1.2 steals across the WNBA Finals, Las Vegas Aces point guard Chelsea Gray was named the 2022 WNBA Finals MVP. She entered the Finals with a playoff scoring average and efficiency unmatched in American professional basketball history and put up a 67.2% true-shooting across the four-game Finals series against the Connecticut Sun. This is the seventh time a Duke women’s basketball alum has won a WNBA championship.
“I worked so hard for this,” Gray said while accepting her award. “I don’t know, I was just pushing it in, and hopefully it goes in the basket.”
In regards to not receiving All-Star or All-WNBA honors this season, Gray added, “They can keep that All-Star and that First Team [All-WNBA honor], I got that ring.”
Gray signed a two-year contract extension with the Aces during this past season, keeping her in Las Vegas through her age-31 season.
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