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Nneka Ogwumike Makes History As MVP and Champ in Same Season

Note: This story was originally published on October 18 and was updated on October 20.

With her game-winning basket with 3.1 seconds left in an epic Game 5, Nneka Ogwumike lifted the L.A. Sparks to their first championship since 2002. But she joined an exclusive club in WNBA history as one of seven players to win the regular season MVP award and a championship in the same season.

Let’s take a look back at the stars of past WNBA Finals that Ogwumike joined:

1997: Cynthia Cooper, Houston Comets

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In the WNBA’s inaugural season, Cynthia Cooper came away with a clean sweep in the awards department. She won the scoring title, MVP, led the Comets to the first of their four straight titles, and took home Finals MVP.

Regular Season Stats: 22.2 points (league leader), 4.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.1 steals

Finals Stats (one game): 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists

 

1998: Cynthia Cooper, Houston Comets

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Another year, another large collection of awards for Cooper. After leading the league in scoring and then winning the MVP, the championship, and the Finals MVP, she went and did it again.

Regular Season Stats: 22.7 points (league leader), 3.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists

Finals Stats (three games): 26.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists

 

2000: Sheryl Swoopes, Houston Comets

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In 2000, the Comets won their fourth straight championship, and once again it was Cynthia Cooper who was named MVP of the Finals. But this time around, her teammate, Sheryl Swoopes, won the scoring title and took home the MVP honors for the regular season.

Regular Season Stats: 20.7 points (league leader), 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.8 steals (league leader)

 

2001: Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles Sparks

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In 2001, Lisa Leslie and the Los Angeles Sparks finally put an end to the Comets’ title reign. The trend of one transcendent player piling up awards didn’t stop, though, as Leslie took home both the regular season and Finals MVP.

Regular Season Stats: 19.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 blocks

Finals Stats (two games): 24.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4.5 blocks

 

2009: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

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It took eight years for another player to win a title and the MVP in the same season, and Diana Taurasi added the Finals MVP as well in 2009. She also won the scoring title as she led the Mercury to their second title in franchise history.

Regular Season Stats: 20.4 points (league leader), 5.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists

Finals Stats (five games): 20.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists

 

2010: Lauren Jackson, Seattle Storm

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The following year, Lauren Jackson copied Taurasi by leading the Seattle Storm to a title and claiming both the regular season and Finals MVP on the way.

Regular Season Stats: 20.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.2 blocks

Finals Stats (three games): 22.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks

 

2016: Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks

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Regular Season Stats: 19.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.1 blocks

Finals Stats (five games): 15.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals