Houston’s Dawn Staley Wins the 2006 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award

-- Staley Takes Home One More Honor in Her Final WNBA Season --

New York, August 30, 2006 - The WNBA announced today that Dawn Staley of the Houston Comets was named the recipient of the 2006 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. For Staley, who recently announced her retirement from the Comets and the WNBA, this marks the second time she has won the award.

Designed to honor a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court -- ethical behavior, fair play and integrity -- the award is named for the late Kim Perrot, who helped guide the Comets to their first two WNBA championships before passing away in August, 1999, after a seven-month battle with cancer.

"Sports fans will recall Dawn as a WNBA all-star and the first U.S. basketball player to carry the flag at the Olympics," said WNBA President Donna Orender. "Her teammates and opponents will remember her as the consummate pro and leader. But thousands of people in communities from Philadelphia to Charlotte to Houston whose lives she has touched will remember her as a caring mentor who wants to help those in need, particularly inner-city children. And she still has so much more to give."

One of the most accomplished female athletes in U.S. history, Staley this year wrapped up a professional playing career that included two seasons in the ABL, six and a half with the WNBA's Charlotte Sting and another one and a half with the Comets. Named to the WNBA All-Decade Team this past June, Staley also is a five-time WNBA All-Star, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and the winner of the 1999 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Along the way she has inspired countless players through her professionalism and dedication in every facet of life.

"If I were trying to pick out anybody that exemplifies everything Kim Perrot stood for I'd pick Dawn Staley," said Comets Head Coach Van Chancellor. "I'm so honored for her to receive this award."

Staley's contributions off the court are as significant as her play on the court. In 1996, she started the Dawn Staley Foundation, which provides inner-city children opportunities to enhance their abilities academically, athletically and socially. The organization conducts school programs, summer basketball leagues and mentoring programs throughout her native Philadelphia where she also coaches the Temple University women's basketball team.

Staley has also embraced the people of Houston, taking an active role in the Comets' community outreach initiatives. In an effort to encourage students to develop life-long reading skills, she partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Houston this season to develop the Dawn Staley Read to Achieve Book Club for local youth.

Staley will receive a Tiffany-designed trophy and $5,000 in honor of the award. An additional $5,000 will be designated to the Dawn Staley Foundation, a WNBA Cares Community Partner.

The following are the results of voting for the 2006 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award:

2006 KIM PERROT SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD RESULTS

Player, Team - Votes
Dawn Staley (Houston Comets) - 22
Vickie Johnson (San Antonio Silver Stars) - 9
Tully Bevilaqua (Indiana Fever) - 8
Taj McWilliams-Frankliln (Connecticut Sun) - 6
Ruth Riley (Detroit Shock) - 2
Allison Feaster (Charlotte Sting) - 2
Barbara Farris (New York Liberty) - 2
Coco Miller (Washington Mystics) - 2
Lisa Leslie (LA Sparks) - 1
Tamika Williams (Minnesota Lynx) - 1
Kelly Miller (Phoenix Mercury) - 1

All-Time Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award Winners

2006 - Dawn Staley, Houston Comets
2005 - Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Connecticut Sun
2004 - Teresa Edwards, Minnesota Lynx
2003 - Edna Campbell, Sacramento Monarchs
2002 - Jennifer Gillom, Phoenix Mercury
2001 - Sue Wicks, New York Liberty
2000 - Suzie McConnell Serio, Cleveland Rockers
1999 - Dawn Staley, Charlotte Sting
1998 - Suzie McConnell Serio, Cleveland Rockers
1997 - Haixia Zheng, Los Angeles Sparks

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 2006 WNBA Finals are now underway as reigning champions, the Sacramento Monarchs face off against the Detroit Shock. Complete coverage of the Finals are being provided by ESPN2, with Game 1 tipping off on August 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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