Candace Parker Wins Two ESPY Awards

Candace Parker

LOS ANGELES � Los Angeles Sparks� WNBA Rookie of the Year candidate Candace Parker came home a winner from the 2008 ESPY Awards.

Parker won the coveted best female athlete award, beating a distinguished list that included golfer Lorena Ochoa, auto racer Danica Patrick and skier Lindsey Vonn.

In the best female college athlete category, Parker was selected over Virginia Tech pitcher Angela Tincher and North Carolina field hockey standout Rachel Dawson.

"I was thrilled when I heard I was nominated for two awards,� Parker said. �It was a huge honor just to be nominated and then to win, it feels great.�

Awards are nothing new for the 22-year-old Parker. Prior to being drafted by the Sparks, she was selected college player of the year after leading Tennessee to its second consecutive NCAA title.

Fans determined the ESPY winners in 37 categories by voting online or with mobile phones. The 16th annual ESPY awards hosted by Justin Timberlake airs on ESPN Sunday, July 20 at 6 p.m. PDT.

Parker is enjoying an outstanding rookie season, having shattered the previous rookie mark of points scored in a debut game with 34 and leading all rookies in scoring average, (18.7), rebounds per game, (9.5), assists per game, (3.8), blocks per game, (2.4) and minutes, (33.9). Parker is also in the top 10 in the WNBA in scoring average, rebounds per game and is second in blocks behind Lisa Leslie.

The Sparks are on the road leading up to the Olympic break, where Parker, along with teammates Lisa Leslie and DeLisha Milton-Jones, will help lead Team USA in pursuit of a gold medal in Beijing.

The Sparks return to Staples Center Thursday, Aug. 28, against the Sacramento Monarchs. For Sparks� ticket information, call 1-877-44-SPARKS. Tickets also are available by calling 1-877-WNBA-TIX or by visiting either Ticketmaster.com or wnba.com/tickets.