Taurasi Earns All-WNBA First Team Nod
NEW YORK – Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi and Chicago Sky center Sylvia Fowles headline the 2013 All-WNBA First-Team, the WNBA announced today. Fowles was the leading vote-getter (167 points), followed by Taurasi (162), who earned a record-tying eighth First Team nod.
A pair of Minnesota Lynx – forward Maya Moore (161) and guard Lindsay Whalen (143) – and Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker (119), the 2013 WNBA MVP, round out the First Team. Parker is the only First-Team returnee from 2012.
An All-WNBA First Team member in 2004, 2006-11, Taurasi ties Lisa Leslie for the most First Team selections in WNBA history. While this marks the third First Team honor for both Parker (2008, 2012) and Whalen (2008, 2011), and the second for Fowles (2010), it is a first for Moore, who was a member of the Second Team a year ago.
Voting for the All-WNBA First and Second Teams was conducted by a panel of 39 national and local sportswriters and broadcasters at the conclusion of the regular season. Players were selected by position and received five points for each First Team vote and three points for each Second Team designation.
Fowles, a two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year winner (2013, 2010), led the WNBA in rebounding (11.5 rpg), finished second in blocks (2.44 bpg), and was one of only two players (Connecticut’s Tina Charles) to average a double-double on the season, finishing with a scoring average of 16.3 points. Fowles captured WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors in July, August, and September, as the Sky finished with a record of 24-10, good for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, as Chicago reached the postseason for the first time in franchise history.
Taurasi finished second in the league in both scoring (20.3 ppg) and assists (6.2 apg) in 2013, while guiding Phoenix into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. The Mercury opens play in the Western Conference Finals tomorrow against the top-seed Lynx at the Target Center (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET).
Parker, who also earned MVP honors as a rookie in 2008, guided the Sparks to a 24-10 record, tied for the second-best mark in the league as Los Angeles secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. She ranked fourth in the WNBA in blocks (1.84 bpg), sixth in scoring (17.9 ppg), seventh in rebounding (8.7 rpg) and double-doubles (eight), and 12th in assists (career-high 3.8 apg).
The runner-up to Parker in the 2013 MVP voting, Moore helped Minnesota to the league’s best record (26-8) and the top overall seed in the playoffs. Moore led the WNBA in three-point field goal percentage and three-point shots made (.453 on 72-of-159), and ranked third in scoring (18.5 ppg). She also finished sixth in steals (1.74 spg), seventh in free throw percentage (.882 on 90-of-102 from the line), and 15th in rebounds (6.2 rpg).
Whalen, an All-WNBA Second Team selection a year ago, averaged a career-high 14.9 ppg, good for 15th in the league. She also ranked third in assists (5.8 apg, the second-best figure of her career), and contributed an average of 4.4 rebounds.
The Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings (116 points) and WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky (105) were voted as forwards on the 2013 All-WNBA Second Team. Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream (97) and Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx (62) were selected as guards, while the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player, Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles (52), rounds out 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.