2009 WNBA Award Winners
Phoenix Mercury guard/forward Diana Taurasi has been named the 2009 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors. Taurasi caps a season in which she led the WNBA with 20.4 points per game and captured her third-career Peak Performer Award for scoring (2006, 2008, 2009). This is the first career MVP award for Taurasi.
Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings was named the 2009 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors. Catchings led the WNBA in steals per game (2.91) for an unprecedented fifth time 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). Catchings previously won the award in 2005 and 2006 and joins Sheryl Swoopes as the only three-time winners of this award.
Washington Mystics forward/center Crystal Langhorne has been named the 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Kia Motors. Langhorne received 19 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Atlanta Dream forward Sancho Lyttle finished second with six votes and Dream center Erika de Souza and Seattle Storm guard Tanisha Wright tied for third with four votes apiece.
Phoenix Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner has been named the 2009 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year presented by Kia Motors. She becomes the second consecutive rookie to receive the honor, following 2008 winner Candice Wiggins. The top three vote getters for 2009 Sixth Woman of the Year were all rookies as Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry finished second with 10 votes and Detroit Shock guard Shavonte Zellous finished third with four votes.
Phoenix Mercury teammates Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter headline the 2009 All-WNBA First Team. They are joined by Seattle Storm forward/center Lauren Jackson, San Antonio Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings. Los Angeles Sparks teammates, guard/forward Candace Parker and center Lisa Leslie, highlight the 2009 All-WNBA Second Team. They are joined by Fever guard Katie Douglas, Detroit Shock guard Deanna Nolan and San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young.
Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry was named the 2009 adidas Rookie of the Year. McCoughtry, the No.1 overall pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft presented by adidas, topped the charts among all WNBA rookies in points (12.8) and steals (2.2) and ranked fifth in assists (2.1). She finished the season with two consecutive adidas Rookie of the Month honors.
The 2009 adidas All-Rookie Team was announced today by the WNBA, headlined by Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry and Phoenix Mercury guard/forward DeWanna Bonner. They are joined on the team by Detroit Shock guard Shavonte Zellous, Minnesota Lynx guard Renee Montgomery and Washington Mystics guard Marissa Coleman.
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. 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.
The Atlanta Dream’s Marynell Meadors was named the recipient of the 2009 WNBA Coach of the Year Award. Meadors becomes the first coach to win the award within the franchise’s first two years (excluding Houston) after she engineered a 14-win improvement in 2009 over the Dream’s inaugural season record. The 14-win jump marks the second largest one-season turnaround in league history.
Sacramento Monarchs guard Kara Lawson was named the recipient of the 2009 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Lawson wins her first Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award after collecting eight votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Lawson edged out the Detroit Shock’s Taj McWilliams and the Minnesota Lynx’s Candice Wiggins, who each received seven votes.