Indiana Fever guard Shavonte Zellous is the winner of the 2013 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year, the WNBA announced today. Zellous received 30 of 39 votes from a panel of national and local sportswriters and broadcasters.
Zellous nearly doubled her scoring average in 2013 (14.7 ppg) from 2012 (7.5 ppg), and also improved her rebounding numbers in 2013 (3.4 rpg) from 2012 (2.7 rpg). She also took her overall field goal percentage up from .369 in 2012 to .415 in 2013.
In her fifth season in the league, Zellous started all 29 games in which she appeared this season. She posted career highs in scoring, rebounds, steals (0.9 spg), blocks (0.7 bpg) and three-point field goal percentage (.348). Zellous opened the season with 15 consecutive double-figure scoring efforts, and tallied 10-or-more points in 24-of-30 contests overall. Zellous poured in a season-high 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-7 from distance on June 8 against Phoenix.
Zellous is in her third full season with the Fever, which finished the 2013 campaign with a 16-18 mark, and earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. She spent part of the 2010 season with Indiana as well, also splitting time with Tulsa. Zellous was drafted 11th overall by Detroit in the 2009 WNBA Draft following a standout career at the University of Pittsburgh.
There was a nine-way tie for second place, with each of the following players receiving one vote: Jane Appel (San Antonio Silver Stars); Elizabeth Cambage (Tulsa Shock); Erika de Souza (Atlanta Dream); Kelsey Griffin (Connecticut Sun); Allison Hightower (Connecticut Sun); Glory Johnson (Tulsa Shock); Danielle Robinson (San Antonio Silver Stars); Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky); and Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx).
In honor of being named the 2013 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year, Zellous will receive $5,000 and a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co.