Alana Beard and Lauren Jackson Named WNBA Players of the Week

NEW YORK, June 22, 2009Alana Beard of the Washington Mystics and Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm were named the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, June 15 through Sunday, June 21.

Beard wins her fourth career Player of the Week award following a week in which she tied for the league lead in both scoring with 25.5 ppg on 59.4 percent (19-32) shooting and steals (3.0 spg), while also averaging 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists. She helped the team to a 1-1 record for the week, including a win over the Chicago Sky.

In both games, Beard led the Mystics in scoring by putting up 20 points in a road loss to the Atlanta Dream and 31 in the team’s win over the Sky. Against Chicago, she notched season highs in points (31), field goals (11), field goal attempts (18) and assists (five). Down the stretch, Beard tied the game at 64 with a jumper at the top of the key and followed that up with a three-pointer from the corner to put the Mystics in front for good.

Beard, a veteran in her sixth year, is a three-time All-Star and three-time All-Defensive Team selection. She is second in team history for career points with 2,736 and is the franchise leader in career three-pointers made (194) and assists (506).

Jackson earns the 14th Player of the Week award of her career, one short of the Lisa Leslie’s 15 career awards. For the week, she tied for first in the league in scoring with 25.5 ppg on 60.0 percent (15-25) shooting, steals (3.0 spg) and blocks (3.0 bpg). Jackson also averaged 7.0 rebounds, which led the Storm, who went 2-0 and moved into a tie for first place with Phoenix.

She led Seattle in scoring for both games, wins over the Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury, this week. Against the Lynx, she scored a season-best 26 points, including four three-pointers, to go with six rebounds, a career-high six steals and two blocks. Including her 25 points at Phoenix on Sunday, Jackson has now scored over 20 points in each game this season.

A former No. 1 overall pick, Jackson is a two-time WNBA MVP, a six-time WNBA All-Star, five-time All-WNBA First Team selection and a member of the 2004 Storm team that won the WNBA Championship. In 2008, she won her third silver medal as a member of the Australian Olympic team. Jackson, a member of the 2006 WNBA All-Decade Team, has scored over 4,700 points and collected over 1,900 rebounds in her nine-year WNBA career.

Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Connecticut’s Asjha Jones, Indiana’s Katie Douglas, Los Angeles’ Vanessa Hayden, New York’s Shameka Christon, Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi, Sacramento’s Nicole Powell and San Antonio’s Sophia Young.

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. Comprised of 13 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women’s professional team sports league in the world. The league concluded its historic 12th regular season with increases in attendance, ratings, Web traffic and merchandise sales. The 2009 WNBA season tipped off June 6 on ABC.

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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