New York's Cappie Pondexter and Los Angeles' Tina Thompson Named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2010
Cappie Pondexter and Tina Thompson
– Cappie Pondexter of the New York Liberty and Tina Thompson of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors, respectively, for games played August 9-15.
This marks the first season that Kia Motors – an official WNBA marketing partner – has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week award.
Pondexter led the league in scoring, averaging 29.5 points while leading the Liberty to a 2-0 record. In the Eastern Conference, she finished tied for third in field goal percentage (.615), tied for fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.500), and tied for first in free throw percentage, converting 22-for-22 free throw attempts.
This is Pondexter’s fourth Player of the Week award for the 2010 season and the ninth of her career. In her fifth year with the WNBA, the former Rutgers guard has helped the Liberty win its last eight games, a franchise record for consecutive wins. The Liberty has locked up a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
On Aug. 13, against the Atlanta Dream, Pondexter shot 73 percent from the field, including 13-for-13 from the line. Including points and assists, of which she had 31 and five, respectively, she was responsible for 46 percent of the Liberty’s offense. Facing off against Diana Taurasi, reigning regular-season and Finals MVP, Pondexter held Taurasi to two points in the first half. In 27 minutes played, she contributed 28 points and six assists in a 107-69 victory over the defending champion Mercury on Aug. 14.
In the Western Conference, Thompson won the award for the first time in a Sparks uniform and the fifth overall in her career. Her most recent Player of the Week award came in 2008 as a member of the Houston Comets. Thompson finished third in the league and first in the Western Conference in scoring, with 20.3 points per game. In the Western Conference, she finished second in rebounds (10.7 rpg), fourth in steals (2.0 spg), fourth in blocks (1.33 bpg), second in free throw percentage (.929), and fourth in minutes (34.7 mpg).
This University of Southern California product led the Sparks to a 2-1 record for the week, keeping them squarely in the hunt for a Western Conference playoff spot. Los Angeles currently sits in third place, battling for separation from San Antonio and Minnesota. All three teams have a 12-19 record with the final week of the season remaining.
Thompson recorded two double-doubles over the week, against Indiana on Aug. 10 and Tulsa on Aug. 14. On Aug. 12, Thompson scored the game-winning basket against Minnesota with 1.1 seconds remaining in the game.
Thompson is the only player remaining in the WNBA from its inaugural season in 1997 when she was selected with the first pick of the draft. On Aug. 8, she surpassed Lisa Leslie’s all-time scoring record of 6,263 points against the San Antonio Silver Stars. She now has 6,334 points for her career.
Other candidates for WNBA Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Tulsa’s Ivory Latta, San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, Phoenix’s Tameka Johnson, and Indiana’s Tamika Catchings.
The WNBA Western and Eastern Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors are part of a series of oncourt performance awards called The WNBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors. The series, currently in its second season, includes four of the WNBA's most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Sixth Woman of the Year, along with the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month. Kia Motors has been an official WNBA marketing partner since 2008.
For more information on this week's Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors winners, visit www.wnba.com/awards.