Led by a game-high 20 points from Finals MVP Chelsea Gray, another double-double from A’ja Wilson, and the clutch shooting of Riquna Williams with 17 points off the bench, the Aces earned a 78-71 road win over the Sun to win the best-of-five championship series three games to one.
The championship was the first for one of the WNBA’s original eight franchises – the team began as the Utah Starzz from 1997-2002, then relocated to San Antonio as the Silver Stars (and later just Stars) from 2003-2017, before relocating to Las Vegas before the 2018 season.
The Aces also became the first major professional sports team to win a championship for Las Vegas, Nevada. The famous town in the desert now is a big league city with the NHL’s Golden Knights and the NFL’S Raiders.
FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
The Las Vegas Aces are an American professional basketball team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The Aces compete in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) as a member club of the league’s Western Conference. The team plays their home games at Michelob Ultra Arena in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
The team was founded in Salt Lake City, Utah, as the Utah Starzz before the league’s inaugural 1997 season. It then moved to San Antonio, Texas before the 2003 season and became the San Antonio Silver Stars, later shortened to the San Antonio Stars in 2014. The team relocated to Las Vegas before the 2018 season. The Aces, who are owned by Mark Davis, the current owner of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, are one of three WNBA franchises who compete in a market that lacks a current NBA team; the Seattle Storm (who were founded in 2000, when Seattle was also home to the NBA’s then-Seattle SuperSonics now-Oklahoma City Thunder) and the Connecticut Sun are the two other such franchises.
As the Stars, the team qualified for the WNBA Playoffs in seven of their fifteen years in San Antonio. The franchise has been home to many high-quality players such as all-star point guard Becky Hammon, solid power-forward Sophia Young, former first-overall draft pick Ann Wauters, seven-foot-two-inch center Margo Dydek, two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby, and 2020 league MVP A’ja Wilson. The franchise has gone to the WNBA Finals three times: first in 2008, losing to Detroit, in 2020 losing to Seattle, and in 2022 winning against Connecticut.
COURTESY WNBA & LAS VEGAS ACES COMMUNICATIONS