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A’ja Wilson Wins WNBA MVP

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Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson was named the WNBA’s MVP on Thursday.

What We Know:

  • A’ja Wilson has won the 2020 WNBA MVP. Crystal Dangerfield and Cheryl Reeve of the Minnesota Lynx won Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively. Wilson is only in her third year as a professional and averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.
  • Wilson earned 43 out of 47 first-place votes for the award. The Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart finished in second place, and the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker finished in third.
  • Wilson was surprised with the award by WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert on Thursday. She was given the honor in front of her teammates and called her family immediately afterward to share the good news.

“I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was probably crying before Cathy finished her speech . . . I needed my teammates to know I’m going to produce X amount of things every game, because that’s how you win, when you can count on people. That’s probably the biggest thing for me being MVP.” – A’ja Wilson

  • The 6-foot-4 Wilson was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft and won Rookie of the Year that season.  She led the Aces to an 18-4 record and the best and the No. 1 seed. With Liz Cambage out of the bubble, Wilson stepped up her production across the board and improved upon her previous season in which she was named an All-Star.

Wilson and the Aces will face the Connecticut Sun in the semifinal round of the playoffs. Game 1 is scheduled for Sunday.

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Sagar is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in Trumpet Performance and Economics. Sagar writes for Black News Alerts and the BNA Daily Podcast.

Coronavirus

Dodgers Win World Series

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The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6, capturing their first World Series title since 1988.

What We Know:

  • The Dodgers had a tough time early in the game, but came alive in the sixth inning. This was helped by Rays manager Kevin Cash’s questionable decision to pull their starting pitcher Blake Snell early.
  • Snell pitched 18 strikeouts in the World Series and just allowed two hits during this game, so it was surprising to see him leave the game so early.
  • This gave the Dodgers an opportunity that they wouldn’t waste. After trailing 0-1, the Dodgers were able to tie off a wild pitch and Mookie Betts was able to make it home to take the lead. He capped off the game with a monster home run to seal the game.

  • This championship must feel good for LA. It’s their second one this month as the Lakers won the NBA Championship just weeks ago. Not only is this the Dodgers’ first championship in over 30 years, it’s one that caps off a decade of dominant regular-season baseball.
  • The Dodgers have been one of the MLB’s best teams for the last several seasons, but they have always disappointed or fallen just short of winning it all. This win completely changes the legacies of every member of their core, especially Clayton Kershaw.
  • A little bit of controversy to go with this joyous occasion: Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19. The Dodgers were notified midgame and Turner was pulled in the eighth inning. Turner said he was feeling fine and asymptomatic, but he drew a lot criticism for celebrating with the team and taking photos while taking his mask off.

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Dodgers president Andrew Friedman said of Turner, “I don’t think there was anyone that was going to stop him from going out.”

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Coronavirus

Jaguars RB Ryquell Armstead Hospitalized With COVID-19

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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead has been hospitalized twice due to the coronavirus.

What We Know:

  • Armstead, 23, was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list during the first week of September and is still dealing with “significant respiratory issues,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.
  • Armstead has been battling the virus for months now and is reportedly still suffering a variety of complications. Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone said there is no timetable for his recovery and that “he’ll be out a while”.
  • Over 20 NFL players have contracted the coronavirus this year. The United States death toll is over 224,000 and is still rising.
  • Armstead was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. He rushed for 108 yards last season. The Jaguars expected him to become their starting running back this season and take on a bigger role, but that will have to wait until he makes a full recovery.

Undrafted rookie James Robinson has taken over as Jacksonville’s starting running back.

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Vikings Trade Yannick Ngakoue

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The Minnesota Vikings have traded pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens.

What We Know:

  • The deal will send Ngakoue to Baltimore and a 2021 third-round pick and 2022 conditional fifth-round pick to Minnesota, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
  • Ngakoue will spend the Ravens’ bye week going through COVID-19 testing. He should be available for their Week 8 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Baltimore already has the league’s best defense, only allowing 17.3 points per game, and they are now adding a former Pro-Bowl selection. The Ravens are 5-1 and second in the AFC North, right behind the Steelers.
  • The Ravens previously tried to trade for Ngakoue in recent months and tried to acquire Jadeveon Clowney before the season started. The Ravens still have their franchise tag in Matthew Judon to pair with Ngakoue. Ngakoue has already been traded once this season when Jacksonville sent him to Minnesota.
  • Through six games in Minnesota, Ngakoue had five sacks, two forced fumbles, seven quarterback hits and 12 tackles, five of which resulted in losses. The Vikings unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on his production and started 1-5.

Ngakoue is reportedly excited to be heading to Baltimore. He grew up in Bowie, Maryland and played college ball at the University of Maryland.

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