September 17, 2009 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2009 - Washington Mystics forward/center Crystal Langhorne has been named the 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Kia Motors, the league announced today. Langhorne received 19 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Atlanta Dream forward Sancho Lyttle finished second with six votes and Dream center Erika de Souza and Seattle Storm guard Tanisha Wright tied for third with four votes apiece.
In her second season, Langhorne improved her scoring by over seven points a game from 4.8 ppg to 12.0 ppg while upping her rebounding average from 4.0 to 7.9. Langhorne posted higher numbers than a year ago in nearly every statistical category. She tied for third among WNBA leaders in rebounds and ranked second in offensive rebounding average (3.0 rpg) and totals (101). She worked her way into the starting lineup by the middle of the season and nearly doubled her playing time (29.8 minutes per game) from a year ago (15.6 mpg).
Selected with the sixth pick of the 2008 WNBA Draft, Langhorne was the third leading scorer on Washington this season after placing sixth on the team in 2008. She led Washington in rebounding this season after ranking third on the team for the full 2008 season. She also posted nine double-doubles this season, which tied for third among WNBA leaders.
Against Chicago on Sept. 4, she totaled a career-high 23 points on seven field goals and seven free throws. She made 10 field goals and pulled in 11 defensive rebounds and 16 total rebounds against Connecticut on Aug. 14 to set career highs in those categories as well.
She helped Washington to its first WNBA Playoffs appearance since 2006 by leading the Mystics in rebounding 20 times and scoring six times. Langhorne scored in double figures 24 times, including two 20-or-more-point performances, and collected double figures in rebounds on 11 occasions.
A native of Willingboro, N.J., Langhorne played her college basketball at Maryland where she was a three-time Associated Press All-America selection and the 2008 ACC Player of the Year. She led Maryland to the NCAA Championship in 2006.
As the WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, Langhorne will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.
For the first time ever, a single WNBA marketing partner will present the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Most Improved Player, and WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, grouped under the banner of "The WNBA Performance Awards presented by Kia Motors." As a Proud Partner of the WNBA and the official presenter of the awards, Kia Motors will be incorporated into the formal award presentations and will receive prominent branding in the awards coverage on WNBA.com.
Below are the complete results of the 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Kia Motors voting and past recipients.
2009 MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PRESENTED BY KIA MOTORS RESULTS
19 Crystal Langhorne Washington Mystics
6 Sancho Lyttle Atlanta Dream
4 Erika de Souza Atlanta Dream
4 Tanisha Wright Seattle Storm
3 Lindsey Harding Washington Mystics
3 Noelle Quinn Los Angeles Sparks
1 Sandrine Gruda Connecticut Sun
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KIA WINNERS
2009 Crystal Langhorne Washington Mystics
2008 Ebony Hoffman Indiana Fever
2007 Janel McCarville New York Liberty
2006 Erin Buescher Sacramento Monarchs
2005 Nicole Powell Sacramento Monarchs
2004 Wendy Palmer/Kelly Miller Connecticut Sun/Indiana Fever
2003 Michelle Snow Houston Comets
2002 Coco Miller Washington Mystics
2001 Janeth Arcain Houston Comets
2000 Tari Phillips New York Liberty