2009 WNBA All-Defensive Team Selections Announced

-- Three-Time Defensive Player of the Year Tamika Catchings Headlines First Team --
-- Nicky Anosike and Lauren Jackson Also Highlight First Team --

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2009 – Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings, a three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (2005, 2006 and 2009), headlines the 2009 WNBA All-Defensive Team, the league announced today. Catchings collected 24 points from the league’s 13 coaches while Minnesota center/forward Nicky Anosike finished second with 13 points and Seattle Storm forward/center Lauren Jackson, the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, garnered 12 points.

Storm guard Tanisha Wright (10 points) and Fever guard Tully Bevilaqua (nine points) round out the All-Defensive First Team.

Catchings earns her fifth consecutive appearance on the All-Defensive First Team. She is the only player to be named to the First Team every year it has been named (2005-2009). For Anosike, the selection is her first in her two WNBA seasons while Jackson earned a spot on the First Team in 2007 and the Second Team in 2005 and 2008. Like Anosike, Wright was chosen for the All-Defensive Team for the first time in her career. Bevilaqua has been picked to the First Team three other times in her career (2005, 2006 and 2008) and to the Second Team on one occasion (2007).

The WNBA All-Defensive Second Team comprises Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie (10 points), Atlanta Dream forwards Sancho Lyttle and Angel McCoughtry (nine points each), Detroit Shock guard Deanna Nolan, Washington Mystics guard Alana Beard and Sparks guard/forward Candace Parker (eight points each).

Leslie is a two-time Defensive Player of the Year (2004 and 2008) and is a member of the 2006 and 2008 All-Defensive First Team and the 2005 All-Defensive Second Team. Lyttle and McCoughtry, the only rookie on either team, each were named to their first All-Defensive Team. Nolan was named to the All-Defensive Second Team on three previous occasions (2005, 2006 and 2008) and the All-Defensive First Team in 2007. Beard earned a selection to the 2007 All-Defensive First Team and was named to the 2005 and 2006 Second Teams. Parker appears on the team for the first time.

A panel of the WNBA’s 13 head coaches voted on the WNBA All-Defensive Team, selecting First and Second Teams by position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. Players earned two points for each First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

Below are the top finishers in the vote for the 2009 WNBA All-Defensive Teams:

Tamika CatchingsIndiana FeverForward24
Lauren JacksonSeattle StormForward/Center12
Nicky AnosikeMinnesota LynxCenter/Forward13
Tanisha WrightSeattle StormGuard10
Tully BevilaquaIndiana FeverGuard9

Sancho LyttleAtlanta DreamForward9
Angel McCoughtryAtlanta DreamForward9
Lisa LeslieLos Angeles SparksCenter10
Candace ParkerLos Angeles SparksGuard/Forward8
Alana BeardWashington MysticsGuard8
Deanna NolanDetroit ShockGuard8

About the WNBA
The WNBA is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment value with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity. Composed of 13 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The league concluded its historic 13th regular season with increased attendance for the third consecutive year and increased viewership on ESPN2 for a second straight season. The 2009 WNBA Playoffs tipped off Sept. 16.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

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