Fifth overall 2009 draft pick named top reserve

DEWANNA BONNER NAMED 2009 WNBA SIXTH WOMAN OF THE YEAR

Posted: Sept. 18, 2009

NEW YORK – Phoenix Mercury guard/forward DeWanna Bonner has been named the 2009 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year presented by Kia Motors, the league announced today. Bonner received 20 votes, more than all six of the other nominees combined, from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters to earn the award. She becomes the second consecutive rookie to receive the honor, following 2008 winner Candice Wiggins. The top three vote getters for 2009 Sixth Woman of the Year were all rookies as Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry finished second with 10 votes and Detroit Shock guard Shavonte Zellous finished third with four votes.

VIDEO: DeWanna Bonner on Award

“It says something special about a rookie to receive this honor, and shows what confidence her coaches and teammates have in her,” said Mercury General Manager Ann Meyers Drysdale. “She’s shown the ability to come off the bench and affect the game by contributing not only offensively, but defensively as well.”

Bonner made an immediate impact, pushing the Mercury to a 5-1 start after the team missed the 2008 WNBA Playoffs. The Mercury finished the 2009 season with the best record in the league and home court advantage throughout the playoffs. 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). Despite coming off the bench in all of her 34 games played, Bonner averaged over 20 minutes per game and led all rookies in double-doubles (five).

Her 5.8 rebounds slotted her first and her 11.2 points placed her third among all WNBA rookies. In her professional debut, Bonner posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a 90-79 Mercury win against the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Silver Stars. Bonner’s season-high 21 points came in a 104-80 win over the Minnesota Lynx, during which she also collected 10 rebounds.

Bonner’s 196 total rebounds were the most ever for a Mercury player as a reserve; the previous mark was 147 by Kelly Schumacher in 2007. Her total also stands as a new Mercury rookie single-season record for rebounds.

Bonner was honored with the adidas Rookie of the Month award in June. For the month, she averaged 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 10 games.

A standout at Auburn, Bonner was drafted fifth overall by the Mercury in the 2009 WNBA Draft. As a senior, she was named the SEC Player of the Year and led the SEC in scoring, becoming the first Auburn player to do so. Bonner was a three-time All-SEC First Team member.

In honor of being named the Sixth Woman of the Year presented by Kia Motors, Bonner will receive $5,000 and a specially-designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.

Below are the results of the 2009 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year Presented by Kia Motors voting:

2009 WNBA SIXTH WOMAN OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KIA MOTORS RESULTS

VOTES NAME TEAM
20
DeWanna Bonner Phoenix Mercury
10
Angel McCoughtry Atlanta Dream
4
Shevonte Zellous Detroit Shock
1
Kara Braxton Detroit Shock
1
Kristi Toliver Chicago Sky
1
Hamchetou Maiga-Ba Sacramento Monarchs
1
Crystal Langhorne Washington Mystics

WNBA SIXTH WOMAN OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KIA MOTORS WINNERS

YEAR NAME TEAM
2009
DeWanna Bonner Phoenix Mercury
2008
Candice Wiggins Minnesota Lynx
2007*
Plenette Pierson Detroit Shock
* Inaugural award