Pondexter Named WNBA Player of the Week
-- Sets up Early Battle with Seimone Augustus for Rookie of the Year Honors --
NEW YORK, JUNE 12, 2006 – Cappie Pondexter of the Phoenix Mercury was named WNBA Player of the Week for games played Monday, June 5 through Sunday, June 11. The second overall pick of the 2006 WNBA Draft, Pondexter earns her first Player of the Week honor just three weeks into her professional career and becomes the second rookie this year to garner the award.
Pondexter led the Mercury, winless (0-4) before the week, to consecutive wins for the first time since August 2005. Through two games, she averaged a league best 28.5 points per game while shooting 60.5 percent (23-of-38) from the field and 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the free throw line.
On June 6, Pondexter poured in 30 points in a 90-76 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs for the second consecutive time and, in the process, became only the third player in league history to collect back-to-back 30-point games (Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes). That game also saw Pondexter and Diana Taurasi become the first teammates in WNBA history to post 30 points apiece in the same game.
“Cappie is an explosive scorer who can do a lot of things,” said Taurasi. “She showed this week that she can also get people involved. She demonstrated why she is one of the top 10 players in the league as a rookie.”
Pondexter followed up her performance three days later with a game-high 27 points in a 93-79 win over the Detroit Shock on June 9, falling just three points shy of tying Cynthia Cooper’s record (set in 1997) for most consecutive games of 30 or more points.
Pondexter currently leads the league in scoring average with 23.7 points per game, followed by Taurasi (23.0) and fellow Rookie of the Year contender Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx (22.8). Augustus, the first pick overall in this year's draft, snared Player of the Week honors last week and has led the Lynx in scoring in all eight games to date.
Other candidates for WNBA Player of the Week were Charlotte’s Tangela Smith, Connecticut’s Katie Douglas, Detroit’s Cheryl Ford, Minnesota’s Nicole Ohlde and Augustus, Sacramento’s Yolanda Griffith and Washington’s Alana Beard.
About the WNBA
Featuring 14 teams and the greatest female basketball players from around the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in U.S. history. The league’s historic 10th Anniversary season, which tipped off on Saturday, May 20, features significant interactivity with fans who will play a key role in selecting the league’s All-Decade Team, the WNBA’s Greatest Moments and the starters for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game set to take place on July 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City (live on ESPN at 7:30 ET). The WNBA’s 10th Anniversary season includes appointment viewing on Tuesday nights as ESPN2 will televise 14 WNBA games – including five doubleheaders – on Tuesdays this spring/summer. WNBA games and programming also will be shown in 198 countries via 79 telecasters in 34 languages this season.