-- Eight-Year Veteran Wins her Third Defensive Player of the Year Award --
Tamika Catchings had 99 steals this season, one shy of the WNBA's all-time, single-season record of 100 set by Teresa Weatherspoon in 1998.
Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images
NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2009 – Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings was named the 2009 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, the league announced today. Catchings received 34 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, beating out the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker and Atlanta Dream’s Erika de Souza, each of whom garnered two votes. Catchings previously won the award in 2005 and 2006 and joins Sheryl Swoopes as the only three-time winners of this award.
In honor of being named the Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, Catchings will receive $5,000 and a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co.
Catchings led the WNBA in steals per game (2.91) for an unprecedented fifth time (2002-2.94-95; 2005-2.65-90; 2006-2.94-94; 2007-3.14-66) as she helped the Fever finish the regular season with the league’s third-ranked defense (73.6 points allowed per game and a league-record 373 steals). She also ranked eighth in total defensive rebounds (159) and tied for 13th in defensive rebounds per game (4.7) while contributing 18 blocked shots.
Now in her eighth season, Catchings’ 99 steals were one shy of the WNBA's all-time, single-season record of 100 set by Teresa Weatherspoon of the New York Liberty in 1998 and gave her four of the top five marks in league history. Catchings’ 94 steals in 2002 and 2006 are tied for third most and her 90 in 2005 ranks as the fifth best figure in league history. The 99 steals also raised her career total to 631 and moved her into third place on the WNBA’s all-time list, one behind Swoopes (632) and 54 fewer than Ticha Penicheiro (the current Sacramento Monarchs player who has tallied 685).
Selected by Indiana with the third overall pick in the 2001 Draft, Catchings has been known throughout her career as arguably one of the most complete players ever to play the game, and she proved as much once again in 2009. Catchings not only paced the 2009 Fever in rebounds (15.1 rpg), assists (3.1 apg), and steals, but ranked second in scoring, including a franchise record 31 consecutive free throws.
While her seven double-doubles tied for sixth in the WNBA this season, Catchings authored another, more impressive double-double. The only WNBA player to rank among the top 15 all-time in career points, rebounds, assists and steals, Catchings cracked the top 15 in each of these same categories in 2009.
One of the most accomplished players in women’s basketball history, Catchings is a four-time All-WNBA First Team selection, six-time WNBA All-Star, a member of the WNBA’s All-Decade Team, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Her WNBA career totals include 4,047 points, 1,892 rebounds, 897 assists and 631 steals.
For the first time ever, a single WNBA marketing partner will present the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Most Improved Player, and WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, grouped under the banner of “The WNBA Performance Awards presented by Kia Motors.” As a Proud Partner of the WNBA and the official presenter of the awards, Kia Motors will be incorporated into the formal award presentations and will receive prominent branding in the awards coverage on WNBA.com.
Below are the complete results of the 2009 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors votes and a list of past recipients:
About the WNBA
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. Composed of 13 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The league concluded its historic 13th regular season with increased attendance for the third consecutive year and increased viewership on ESPN2 for a second straight season. The 2009 WNBA Playoffs tipped off Sept. 16.
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-- Three-Time Defensive Player of the Year Tamika Catchings Headlines First Team --
-- Nicky Anosike and Lauren Jackson Also Highlight First Team --
NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2009 – Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings, a three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2005, 2006 and 2009), headlines the 2009 WNBA All-Defensive Team, the league announced today. Catchings collected 24 points from the league’s 13 coaches while Minnesota center/forward Nicky Anosike finished second with 13 points and Seattle Storm forward/center Lauren Jackson, the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, garnered 12 points.
Storm guard Tanisha Wright (10 points) and Fever guard Tully Bevilaqua (nine points) round out the All-Defensive First Team.
Catchings earns her fifth consecutive appearance on the All-Defensive First Team. She is the only player to be named to the First Team every year it has been named (2005-2009). For Anosike, the selection is her first in her two WNBA seasons while Jackson earned a spot on the First Team in 2007 and the Second Team in 2005 and 2008. Like Anosike, Wright was chosen for the All-Defensive Team for the first time in her career. Bevilaqua has been picked to the First Team three other times in her career (2005, 2006 and 2008) and to the Second Team on one occasion (2007).
The WNBA All-Defensive Second Team comprises Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie (10 points), Atlanta Dream forwards Sancho Lyttle and Angel McCoughtry (nine points each), Detroit Shock guard Deanna Nolan, Washington Mystics guard Alana Beard and Sparks guard/forward Candace Parker (eight points each).
Leslie is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2004 and 2008) and is a member of the 2006 and 2008 All-Defensive First Team and the 2005 All-Defensive Second Team. Lyttle and McCoughtry, the only rookie on either team, each were named to their first All-Defensive Team. Nolan was named to the All-Defensive Second Team on three previous occasions (2005, 2006 and 2008) and the All-Defensive First Team in 2007. Beard earned a selection to the 2007 All-Defensive First Team and was named to the 2005 and 2006 Second Teams. Parker appears on the team for the first time.
A panel of the WNBA’s 13 head coaches voted on the WNBA All-Defensive Team, selecting First and Second Teams by position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Players earned two points for each First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.
Below are the top finishers in the vote for the 2009 WNBA All-Defensive Teams:
- Angel McCoughtry and DeWanna Bonner Lead Voting -
Angel McCoughtry and DeWanna Bonner headline the 2009 adidas All-Rookie Team.
NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2009 – The 2009 adidas All-Rookie Team was announced today by the WNBA, headlined by Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry and Phoenix Mercury guard/forward DeWanna Bonner. They are joined on the team by Detroit Shock guard Shavonte Zellous, Minnesota Lynx guard Renee Montgomery and Washington Mystics guard Marissa Coleman.
The voting panel consisted of the WNBA’s 13 head coaches, who were asked to select five players regardless of position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team.
McCoughtry, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft presented by adidas, topped the charts among all WNBA rookies in points (12.8) and steals (2.2) and ranked fifth in assists (2.1). McCoughtry’s 2.2 steals per game led the Dream and placed her in the top five among league leaders. She finished the season with two consecutive adidas Rookie of the Month honors. McCoughtry helped propel a team that finished with only four wins in 2008 to second place in the Eastern Conference this season. The Dream advanced to the 2009 WNBA Playoffs presented by adidas, marking the first postseason appearance in franchise history. The 14-game improvement is the second-best single-season turnaround in WNBA history.
Bonner, selected No. 5 overall in the draft, was recently honored with the 2009 Sixth Woman of the Year Award presented by Kia Motors. Bonner helped propel the Mercury to 23 wins, a seven-game improvement from 2008. She led her team in rebounds (5.8 rpg) and was third in points (11.2 ppg). Her 5.8 rebounds slotted her first and her 11.2 points placed her third among all WNBA rookies. Despite coming off the bench in all 34 games, Bonner averaged over 20 minutes per game and led all rookies in double-doubles (five). Bonner was named the adidas Rookie of the Month for May.
Zellous, selected No. 11 overall in the draft, played a major part in the Shock’s late run to secure a spot in the Playoffs. She ranked second among rookies in points (11.9), was second overall in the league in free throws made (155) and averaged 1.8 assists per game. Zellous scored in double-digits in 21 of the 34 games played.
Montgomery, the No. 4 overall draft pick, became a consistent option off the bench in her first season. She averaged 9.0 points and 2.1 assists. Montgomery, who started nine games this season ranked third on the Lynx in assists and ranked in the top five among rookies in assists and points. She tallied a career-high 24 points in a 95-88 win over the Connecticut Sun on Aug. 7.
Coleman, the No. 3 overall draft pick, was sidelined for several games early in the season due to an injury but played a key role coming off the bench in the Mystics’ return to the Playoffs. She averaged 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in her first season.
Below are the results for the 2009 adidas All-Rookie Team:
Phoenix teammates Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi were both named to the 2009 All-WNBA First Team.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2009 – Phoenix Mercury teammates Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter headline the 2009 All-WNBA First Team, it was announced today by the WNBA. Taurasi led all vote-getters with 201 points while Pondexter, who garnered her first All-WNBA selection, received 151 points. Two-time WNBA MVP and Seattle Storm forward/center Lauren Jackson finished second among all players with 179 points.
Voting for the All-WNBA First and Second Teams was conducted by a panel of national sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were selected by position and received five points for each First Team vote and three points for each Second Team designation.
San Antonio Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings round out the First Team with 169 and 167 points, respectively.
Taurasi, the 2009 Peak Performer for scoring, averaged a league-best 20.4 points this season, marking the third time in her career that she has averaged over 20 points. Pondexter ranked fourth among WNBA leaders in scoring (19.1 ppg) and tied for third in assists (5.0 apg). Jackson, who averaged 19.2 points, broke Lisa Leslie’s mark (287 games) for the fastest player in league history to 5,000 career points (259 games). Hammon posted a career-high scoring average (19.5 ppg) and tied her career best for assists (5.0 apg). Catchings set a career high with 99 steals on the season, one short of the WNBA record for a single-season, and led the league in steals per game (2.9) for a record fifth time.
For Taurasi, the selection is her fourth consecutive First Team honor and her sixth overall All-WNBA appearance. Jackson has been voted to six First Teams and one Second Team while Hammon makes her second appearance on the First Team and her fourth appearance overall. Catchings has been selected to seven All-WNBA teams, including four First Teams.
Two Los Angeles Sparks teammates, guard/forward Candace Parker (100 points) and center Lisa Leslie (69), highlight the 2009 All-WNBA Second Team. The designation caps Leslie’s final season and career, in which she was named to the All-WNBA Team in every year that she played. She earned First Team honors nine times, and made the Second Team in 1998, 1999 and 2005. The only All-WNBA Team without Leslie’s name attached came in 2007, when she sat out the season after giving birth to her daughter.
Fever guard Katie Douglas (138 points), Detroit Shock guard Deanna Nolan (75) and San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young (72) were also voted to the Second Team.
In honor of being named to the All-WNBA First and Second Teams, each player will receive a Tiffany & Co. designed trophy. In addition, $10,000 will be awarded to each member of the First Team, while each member of the Second Team will receive $5,000.
Below are the complete results of the 2009 All-WNBA Team voting:
"Kara has the heart of a champion and is a true leader on and off the court," said WNBA President Donna Orender.
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images
NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2009 – Sacramento Monarchs guard Kara Lawson was named the recipient of the 2009 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, the WNBA announced today. Lawson wins her first Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award after collecting eight votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Lawson edged out the Detroit Shock’s Taj McWilliams and the Minnesota Lynx’s Candice Wiggins, who each received seven votes.
Designed to honor a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court -- ethical behavior, fair play and integrity -- the award is named for the late Kim Perrot, who helped guide the Houston Comets to their first two WNBA championships before passing away in August, 1999, after a seven-month battle with cancer.
"Kara has the heart of a champion and is a true leader on and off the court," said WNBA President Donna Orender. "Kara's dedication to and passion for the game have shone through since she joined the league and she continues to give everything she has each time she steps on the floor. When you think about Kara, she exemplifies how professional athletes should carry themselves and embodies the ideals of true sportsmanship."
The No. 5 overall pick in the 2003 WNBA Draft, Lawson receives the honor in her seventh WNBA season. She played in 25 games in 2009 before being sidelined with right quadriceps tendinitis, averaging 8.8 points, 2.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds. Lawson recorded her 2,000th career point on Aug. 14 vs. the Los Angeles Sparks.
For her career, Lawson has appeared in 217 games and averaged 9.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. She was named an All-Star in 2007 and helped the Monarchs to the WNBA Championship in 2005. In addition, Lawson was a member of the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team where she helped the team to an unbeaten 8-0 record and the gold medal.
Additionally, Lawson is very active in the community and has received numerous awards for her efforts with Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the American Cancer Society. Since 2004, she has worked with ESPN as a color analyst during the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. Lawson has also worked NBA games, as both a sideline reporter for ESPN and a member of the Sacramento Kings broadcast team during pre-game, halftime and post-game shows.
"I am beyond grateful and humbled to receive the 2009 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award,” said Lawson. “My parents taught me at an early age that the way you treat the game and your competitors was of the utmost importance. I remember watching Kim play and was struck by not only her passion for the game, but her compassion for those who played with her. I look up and down the list of past winners and see players like Teresa Edwards and Dawn Staley, two players who I've looked up to my whole career, and am honored to be added to that list of true professionals."
In honor of being named the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award winner, Lawson will receive $5,000 and a specially-designed trophy from Tiffany & Co. An additional $5,000 will be designated to the charity of her choice.
Below are the results of the 2009 WNBA Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award voting.