– MVP Nneka Ogwumike Joins Former MVPs Tina Charles, Elena Delle Donne and Maya Moore on First Team –
NEW YORK, Oct 14, 2016 – Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Samsung, headlines the 2016 All-WNBA First Team, the WNBA announced today. Ogwumike received First Team votes on all 39 ballots, making her the only unanimous pick from a panel of national and local sportswriters and broadcasters.
Joining Ogwumike (195 total points) on the First Team are three former WNBA MVPs in 2012 winner Tina Charles of the New York Liberty, a center who received 38 First Team votes and 193 points; 2014 winner Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, a guard who received 34 First Team votes and 185 points; and 2015 winner Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky, a forward who earned 27 First Team votes and 162 points. Rounding out the First Team is Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm, who garnered 19 First Team votes and 128 points.
The Second Team consists of Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry (122 points), Storm forward Breanna Stewart (117 points), Lynx center Sylvia Fowles (89 points), Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (86 points) and Storm guard Jewell Loyd (48 points).
Voting for the All-WNBA First and Second Teams was conducted 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 vote.
Ogwumike, an All-WNBA Second Team pick in 2014, ranked third in the league in scoring (career-high 19.7 ppg) and rebounding (career-high 9.1 rebounds) and second in double-doubles (18). She shot a WNBA-best 66.5 percent from the field, the second-highest mark of all time, and added career highs in assists (3.1 apg) and blocks (1.2 bpg) to go with 1.3 steals in 33 games. A three-time WNBA All-Star, Ogwumike was named Western Conference Player of the Week six times and Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung twice in a season that saw the Sparks race out to a 20-1 start.
Charles was named to the All-WNBA First Team for the fourth time in her career after leading the WNBA in scoring (21.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg), joining Chamique Holdsclaw (2002) and Lauren Jackson (2007) as the only players to lead the WNBA in both categories in the same season. Charles, who finished second in the MVP balloting, also led the league in double-doubles (20).
Moore, who finished third in the MVP vote, earned her fourth straight selection to the All-WNBA First Team after helping the Lynx set a franchise record for wins (28). The five-time WNBA All-Star finished fifth in the league in scoring (19.3 ppg) and tied for seventh in assists (4.7 apg) while shooting 44.8 percent from the field, including 40.4 percent from three-point range.
Ogwumike and Moore will face one another tonight in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals presented by Verizon when the Sparks host the Lynx (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Delle Donne makes her second consecutive appearance on the All-WNBA First team after finishing second in the WNBA in scoring (21.46 ppg) and free throw percentage (93.5). She also averaged 7.0 rebounds, the second best mark of her career, to go with a career-best 1.9 assists.
Bird, a five-time First Team selection, led the league in assists (5.8 apg) for the third time in her career, her highest average since 2010. The 14-year veteran also led the league in total assists with 196 in 34 games, 24 more than the Connecticut Sun’s Jasmine Thomas (172). Bird, who won her fourth Olympic gold medal this summer in Rio, added 12.8 points while ranking second in the league in three-point field percentage with a career best 44.4.
In honor of being named to the All-WNBA First and Second Teams, each player will receive a trophy designed by Tiffany & Co. 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 results of the 2016 All-WNBA Team voting:
2016 ALL-WNBA FIRST TEAM
|Nneka Ogwumike||Los Angeles Sparks||Forward||195|
|Tina Charles||New York Liberty||Center||193|
|Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx||Guard||185|
|Elena Delle Donne||Chicago Sky||Forward||162|
|Sue Bird||Seattle Storm||Guard||128|
2016 ALL-WNBA SECOND TEAM
|Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Forward||122|
|Breanna Stewart||Seattle Storm||Forward||117|
|Sylvia Fowles||Minnesota Lynx||Center||89|
|Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury||Guard||86|
|Jewell Loyd||Seattle Storm||Guard||48|