Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner, Sandy Brondello win defensive player, coach of year awards

Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner has been named defensive player of the year, the WNBA announced Friday.

Head Coach Sandy Brondello was named the 2014 coach of the year, a first in the franchise's 18-year history, according to a press release.

Griner set multiple records this year, including blocks in a season, at 129, and blocks in a single game, 11. She also blocked more shots individually than 8 WNBA teams combined, the league said.

This is the first time the team has had a defensive player of the year winner.

She received 31 votes out of 38 from a panel of 38 national sportswriters and broadcasters, the league said.

Brondello led the team to a 29-5 record, the highest single-season win total in league history, the WNBA said. She received 33 votes out of 38 from a national panel.

"Under Brondello’s leadership this season, Phoenix improved its win total by 10 games from a year ago (29-5 vs. 19-15) and in the process, author a 16-game winning streak, marking the second longest in WNBA history. The Mercury also set franchise records for highest winning percentage (.853), highest home winning percentage (.941, 16-1), most consecutive home wins (15) and most consecutive road wins (seven)," the league said in a press release.

Griner will be awarded $5,000 and a trophy.

 

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