Tamika Catchings Named 2009 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors


Tamika Catchings had 99 steals this season, one shy of the WNBA's all-time, single-season record of 100 set by Teresa Weatherspoon in 1998.
Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images
-- Eight-Year Veteran Wins her Third Defensive Player of the Year Award --

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2009 – Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings was named the 2009 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, the league announced today. Catchings received 34 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters, beating out the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker and Atlanta Dream’s Erika de Souza, each of whom garnered two votes. Catchings previously won the award in 2005 and 2006 and joins Sheryl Swoopes as the only three-time winners of this award.

In honor of being named the Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, Catchings will receive $5,000 and a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co.

Catchings led the WNBA in steals per game (2.91) for an unprecedented fifth time (2002-2.94-95; 2005-2.65-90; 2006-2.94-94; 2007-3.14-66) as she helped the Fever finish the regular season with the league’s third-ranked defense (73.6 points allowed per game and a league-record 373 steals). She also ranked eighth in total defensive rebounds (159) and tied for 13th in defensive rebounds per game (4.7) while contributing 18 blocked shots.

Now in her eighth season, Catchings’ 99 steals were one shy of the WNBA's all-time, single-season record of 100 set by Teresa Weatherspoon of the New York Liberty in 1998 and gave her four of the top five marks in league history. Catchings’ 94 steals in 2002 and 2006 are tied for third most and her 90 in 2005 ranks as the fifth best figure in league history. The 99 steals also raised her career total to 631 and moved her into third place on the WNBA’s all-time list, one behind Swoopes (632) and 54 fewer than Ticha Penicheiro (the current Sacramento Monarchs player who has tallied 685).

Selected by Indiana with the third overall pick in the 2001 Draft, Catchings has been known throughout her career as arguably one of the most complete players ever to play the game, and she proved as much once again in 2009. Catchings not only paced the 2009 Fever in rebounds (15.1 rpg), assists (3.1 apg), and steals, but ranked second in scoring, including a franchise record 31 consecutive free throws.

While her seven double-doubles tied for sixth in the WNBA this season, Catchings authored another, more impressive double-double. The only WNBA player to rank among the top 15 all-time in career points, rebounds, assists and steals, Catchings cracked the top 15 in each of these same categories in 2009.

One of the most accomplished players in women’s basketball history, Catchings is a four-time All-WNBA First Team selection, six-time WNBA All-Star, a member of the WNBA’s All-Decade Team, and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Her WNBA career totals include 4,047 points, 1,892 rebounds, 897 assists and 631 steals.

For the first time ever, a single WNBA marketing partner will present the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Most Improved Player, and WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, grouped under the banner of “The WNBA Performance Awards presented by Kia Motors.” As a Proud Partner of the WNBA and the official presenter of the awards, Kia Motors will be incorporated into the formal award presentations and will receive prominent branding in the awards coverage on WNBA.com.

Below are the complete results of the 2009 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors votes and a list of past recipients:

2009 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KIA MOTORS RESULTS
VotesPlayerTeam
34Tamika CatchingsIndiana Fever
2Erika de SouzaAtlanta Dream
2Candace ParkerLos Angeles Sparks
1Alana BeardWashington Mystics
1Lauren JacksonSeattle Storm

2009 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KIA MOTORS RESULTS
YearPlayerTeam
2009Tamika CatchingsIndiana Fever
2008Lisa LeslieLos Angeles Sparks
2007Lauren JacksonSeattle Storm
2006Tamika CatchingsIndiana Fever
2005Tamika CatchingsIndiana Fever
2004Lisa LeslieLos Angeles Sparks
2003Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets
2002Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets
2001Debbie BlackMiami Sol
2000Sheryl SwoopesHouston Comets
1999Yolanda GriffithSacramento Monarchs
1998Teresa WeatherspoonNew York Liberty
1997Teresa WeatherspoonNew York Liberty

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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