New York's Kia Vaughn Named 2011 WNBA Most Improved Player

Sep 16 2011 5:57PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2011 – New York Liberty center Kia Vaughn was named the 2011 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year, the league announced today. Vaughn received 15 out of 40 votes from a panel of local and national sportswriters and broadcasters, beating out Washington Mystics guard Matee Ajavon (10 points), Tulsa Shock forward Tiffany Jackson (10), Seattle Storm center Ashley Robinson (3), Atlanta Dream guard-forward Armintie Price (1), and .Chicago Sky guard Epiphanny Prince (1).

In her second WNBA season, Vaughn started all 34 games for the Liberty, recording career highs in points (10.1 ppg), rebounds (6.7 rpg), steals (1.2 spg), and assists (1.1 apg). Vaughn also shot career highs from the field (.497) and the free throw line (.786). She posted four points/rebounds double-doubles, and had a 10-game streak of double-digit scoring (June 30-July30). Vaughn led the Liberty in rebounds 12 times and in scoring on three occasions.

In a 94-82 win at Tulsa June 23, Vaughn scored a career-high 24 points and added 12 rebounds for her second straight double-double. On Sept. 9, she had 15 points and nine rebounds as the Liberty beat the first-place Indiana Fever 83-75.

A product of Rutgers University, Vaughn is the second straight Liberty player to earn Most Improved Player of the Year accolades (Leilani Mitchell, 2010) and the fourth in team history to receive the award. She also is the third player to win the award under the tutelage of head coach John Whisenant. It was during Whisenant’s stint as head coach of the Sacramento Monarchs that Nicole Powell (now also with the Liberty) and Erin Bueshcer earned the award in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

In honor of being named the Most Improved Player of the Year, Vaughn will receive $5,000 and a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co.

Below are the complete voting results for the 2011 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year Award and a list of past recipients:


Votes Player Team
15Kia VaughnNew York Liberty
10Matee AjavonWashington Mystics
10Tiffany JacksonTulsa Shock
3Ashley RobinsonSeattle Storm
1Armintie PriceAtlanta Dream
1Epiphanny PrinceChicago Sky


Year Player Team
2011Kia VaughnNew York Liberty
2010Leilani MitchellNew York Liberty
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

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