Sept. 22, 2013
NEW YORK -- Former University of Pittsburgh star Shavonte Zellous was named the 2013 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year, it was announced today. Zellous received 30 of 39 votes from the panel of national and local sportswriters and broadcasters, making her the only player to earn more than one vote.
Now in her fifth year in the WNBA, the Indiana Fever guard nearly doubled her scoring average from 2012 to 2013. Zellous averaged 7.5 points in 2012 before improving that mark to 14.7 points per game this season. Her field goal percentage also improved from .396 last year to .415 in 2013.
Zellous posted a number of career highs in her third season with the Fever, including scoring, rebounding, steals (0.9/game), blocks (0.7/game) and three-point field goal percentage (.348). She also was named a reserve for the WNBA All-Star Game in July for the first time in her career.
There was a nine-way tie for second place in the Most Improved Player voting with nine other players earning one vote.
A three-time All-Big East First Team performer for the Panthers, Zellous was the Big East Most Improved Player in 2007 and earned Associated Press All-America Third Team honors in 2009.
As a Panther, Zellous helped lead Pitt to two NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 showings (2008, 2009), a school-record 25 wins (2009) and the highest ranking in program history (2008). She led the team in scoring for three-straight seasons (2006-2009) and closed her illustrious career ranked third in scoring (2,251 points).
The Indiana Fever finished the 2013 season with a 16-18 record and earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They went on to sweep the Chicago Sky in the first round and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Zellous was also a member of the 2012 Fever squad that won the WNBA title.