Seattle’s Lauren Jackson Named 2007 WNBA Most Valuable Player

-- Storm Forward Earns Second-Career Most Valuable Player Award--

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2007 - Forward Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm has been named the 2007 WNBA Most Valuable Player, the league announced today. Jackson received a total of 473 points, including 42 first-place votes. Guard Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars finished second with 254 points. For Jackson, the award is her sixth honor of the season; she previously was named the 2007 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and WNBA Peak Performer for both scoring and rebounding. Additionally, she was a first-team selection to both the WNBA All-Defensive Team and the All-WNBA Team.

The WNBA Most Valuable Player Award was voted on by a panel of national sportswriters and broadcasters. Panel members were asked to select their top five choices for the award, with 10 points being awarded for a first place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

Along with Jackson and Hammon, Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi (144 points), Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings (142 points) and Detroit Shock guard Deanna Nolan (93 points) round out the top five vote-getters.

"Lauren Jackson is an extraordinarily gifted player who turned in one of the most remarkable seasons in WNBA history," said WNBA President Donna Orender. "In leading the Storm to the WNBA playoffs this season, Lauren displayed the kind of all-around excellence that epitomizes the term Most Valuable Player."

Already recognized as an elite player in the league entering the season, Jackson added to her rapidly-growing legacy with a career year in 2007. She led the league in scoring for the third time in her illustrious tenure with the WNBA, while her 23.8 points per game was a career-best. Her scoring average was more than five points-per-game higher than her career mark (18.6 ppg) entering the season.

The Australian native led the league in rebounding, averaging a career-best 9.7 rebounds per game, and ranked atop the league in double-doubles with 17. On June 13 against Indiana, she reached a rebounding milestone when she pulled down her 1,500th career board. Jackson currently ranks ninth (1,740) among the all-time league leaders in total rebounds.

Jackson highlighted her outstanding 2007 campaign with two historic performances in the same week. On July 24, the seventh-year pro tied Diana Taurasi's record for points in a single-game when she poured in 47 in the Storm's 97-96 loss at Washington. A mere three days later, Jackson, a member of the WNBA's All-Decade Team, became the youngest (26 years, 77 days) and fastest (209 games) player in league history to reach the 4,000-point plateau by registering 27 points against the Indiana Fever.

Further cementing her place in the WNBA record books, the Olympic Silver Medalist topped Taurasi's single-season record of eight games with 30-or-more points. Her 32-point performance on Aug. 17 against the Los Angeles Sparks marked the ninth time Jackson reached 30 points in 2007.

No stranger to WNBA awards, Jackson was named the league's Western Conference Player of the Week five times in 2007, raising her career total to 13. Jackson, the first overall pick by the Storm in 2001, was voted to her sixth-career All-Star Team in 2007.

In honor of being named the WNBA Most Valuable Player, Jackson will receive $15,000 and a specially-designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.

Below are the complete results of the 2007 WNBA Most Valuable Player voting and a list of past recipients:

2007 WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER VOTING RESULTS

473 - Lauren Jackson - Seattle Storm
254 - Becky Hammon - San Antonio Silver Stars
144 - Diana Taurasi - Phoenix Mercury
142 - Tamika Catchings - Indiana Fever
93 - Deanna Nolan - Detroit Shock
48 - Penny Taylor - Phoenix Mercury
27 - Katie Douglas - Connecticut Sun
20 - Seimone Augustus - Minnesota Lynx
8 - Sophia Young - San Antonio Silver Stars
6 - Alana Beard - Washington Mystics
5 - Swin Cash - Detroit Shock
3 - Tina Thompson - Houston Comets
2 - Cheryl Ford - Detroit Shock
1 - Asjha Jones - Connecticut Sun
1 - Candice Dupree - Chicago Sky
1 - Jia Perkins - Chicago Sky

PREVIOUS WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER WINNERS
2007 - Lauren Jackson - Seattle Storm
2006 - Lisa Leslie - Los Angeles Sparks
2005 - Sheryl Swoopes - Houston Comets
2004 - Lisa Leslie - Los Angeles Sparks
2003 - Lauren Jackson - Seattle Storm
2002 - Sheryl Swoopes - Houston Comets
2001 - Lisa Leslie - Los Angeles Sparks
2000 - Sheryl Swoopes - Houston Comets
1999 - Yolanda Griffith - Sacramento Monarchs
1998 - Cynthia Cooper - Houston Comets
1997 - Cynthia Cooper - Houston Comets

About the WNBA
Featuring 13 teams and the greatest female basketball players in the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women's professional team sports league in U.S. history. The 2007 WNBA Playoffs tipped off on August 23 with complete coverage through the Conference Finals being provided by ABC, ESPN2 and NBA TV. The 2007 WNBA Finals began on September 5 and will be televised on ESPN and ESPN2.

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