Crystal Langhorne Named 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors


Crystal Langhorne becomes the second Mystic to be named WNBA Most Improved Player.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
-- Langhorne Becomes Second Washington Mystic to Win Award --

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

19Crystal LanghorneWashington Mystics
6Sancho LyttleAtlanta Dream
4Erika de SouzaAtlanta Dream
4Tanisha WrightSeattle Storm
3Lindsey HardingWashington Mystics
3Noelle QuinnLos Angeles Sparks
1Sandrine GrudaConnecticut Sun

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KIA WINNERS

2009Crystal LanghorneWashington Mystics
2008Ebony HoffmanIndiana Fever
2007Janel McCarvilleNew York Liberty
2006Erin BuescherSacramento Monarchs
2005Nicole PowellSacramento Monarchs
2004Wendy Palmer/Kelly MillerConnecticut Sun/Indiana Fever
2003Michelle SnowHouston Comets
2002Coco MillerWashington Mystics
2001Janeth ArcainHouston Comets
2000Tari PhillipsNew York Liberty

About the WNBA
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. Composed of 13 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The league concluded its historic 13th regular season with increased attendance for the third consecutive year and increased viewership on ESPN2 for a second straight season. The 2009 WNBA Playoffs tipped off Sept. 16.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

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