Seattle Storm's Natasha Howard named 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

Seattle Storm's Natasha Howard named 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

Natasha Howard #6 of the Seattle Storm reacts against the Washington Mystics in the second quarter during game one of the WNBA Finals at KeyArena on September 7, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — Seattle Storm forward Natasha Howard has been named the 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

Howard led the WNBA with 74 steals, averaging 2.18 steals per game, and finished third in the WNBA in blocked shots with 59 – averaging 1.74 per game.

Howard averaged 5.5 defensive rebounds per game, the 11th highest total in the league.

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Originally a first-round pick by the Indiana Fever out of Florida State University, Howard was traded to the Storm in February 2018.

Howard was named to her first All-Star game this season.

Lauren Jackson had previously been the only Storm player to win the award when she won in 2007.

The Storm finished the regular season with an 18-16 record and will host the Minnesota Lynx in a first-round, single-elimination playoff game Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Everett.

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