Breanna Stewart: "Accomplishments lies on the other side of challenge and today we are facing the biggest challenge of our lives. I hope you’ll join me in this movement and forge a path to something better."

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On the day she was crowned the WNBA’s regular-season MVP, Breanna Stewart urged fans to register to vote.

In front of a small audience that included teammates, the third-year Storm forward delivered an acceptance speech that reflected her newfound role as an “athlete-activist” before Sunday’s Game 1 semifinals opener between No. 1 seed Seattle and No. 5 Phoenix.

Recently, Stewart has advocated for sexual abuse victims and advocated equality for women’s athletes.

After accepting her first WNBA MVP trophy, Stewart thanked family, friends, the Storm and WNBA fans before urging fans to register to vote.

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“This year in particular for me is a story of transformation and introspection,” said Stewart, who wore custom-made shoes by Seattle artist Aramis Hamar. “From MeToo to equality, finding my voice and elevating my game has been intertwined in my journey. My hope is as a country we can do the same thing.

“Voter registration and voting has never been more important. … That’s why I’m excited to have this opportunity to accept this award while representing ‘When We All Vote.’”

Stewart received 33 of 39 first-place votes (372 points) for the award, with Dallas’ Liz Cambage coming in second with four first-place votes (231 points). Washington’s Elena Delle Donne came in third with two first-place votes (206 points). Stewart will receive $15,000 and a trophy designed by Tiffany & Co.

This season Stewart set career highs in field goal percentage with 52.9 percent and three-point percentage with 41.5 percent while averaging 21.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 blocks.

“Accomplishments like this have a way of romanticizing success – success that I’m grateful for, but for most people watching it’s like a highlight reel,” Stewart said. “So today, particularly at this moment and time in our country, I want to make sure that I am telling the truth.

“If I’ve learned one thing on this journey it’s that accomplishments lies on the other side of challenge and today we are facing the biggest challenge of our lives. I hope you’ll join me in this movement and forge a path to something better.”

Breanna Stewart advocates for voter registration during WNBA MVP acceptance speech.

Here’s the full text of Breanna Stewart’s WNBA MVP award acceptance speech.

“First of all, thank you guys for being here today. Accomplishments like this have a way of romanticizing success. Success that I’m grateful for, but for most people watching it’s like a highlight reel. So today, particularly at this moment and time in our country, I want to make sure that I am telling the truth.

“The truth is this year was made possible by going through really hard things. In many ways, that’s been the story of my life. Any success along the way was made possible by people lifting me up through struggles and by me having the courage and focus to turn my pain into fuel.

“I would not be here today without my parents who are not here. (Laughter) My brother Conor, Swaggy C. My grandparents, my teammates, my coaches, trainers, doctors, staff, our fans, my friends – who are also not here. (Laughter) Thank you all, especially to the Seattle Storm for being there and for seeing me through. To Coach (Geno) Auriemma and to CD (Chris Dailey) for always being in my corner and for pushing me to be the best both at UConn and here now.

“This year in particular for me is a story of transformation and introspection. From MeToo to equality, finding my voice and elevating my game has been intertwined in my journey. My hope is as a country we can do the same thing. Voter registration and voting has never been more important. You can see my shoes. That’s why I’m excited to have this opportunity to accept this award while representing ‘When We All Vote.’ The Nike shoes I’m wearing tonight were customized by a local artist Aramis Hamar and together we have joined forces to represent the local athletes and artists communities and to call on our fans in Seattle and beyond to get registered and vote this November. If I’ve learned one thing on this journey it’s that accomplishments lies on the other side of challenge and today we are facing the biggest challenge of our lives. I hope you’ll join me in this movement and forge a path to something better.

“I’d like to thank the WNBA and the media for this honor. I’d like to thank my sponsors Nike and Red Bull for standing behind me. I’d like to thank the women and athlete-activists that came before me for this platform that I promise to use to be an ally and a voice for truth and those who might not be heard. Thank you.”