Shameka Christon and Cappie Pondexter Named WNBA Players of the Week

NEW YORK, July 20, 2009Shameka Christon of the New York Liberty and Cappie Pondexter of the Phoenix Mercury were named the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, July 13 through Sunday, July 19. Pondexter becomes the first player in league history to win three consecutive Player of the Week awards.

Christon earns the second Player of the Week award of her career after averaging 26.5 points, tops among all players, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals for the week. She helped the Liberty to a three-point win over the Atlanta Dream on July 19, to boost the team’s record this week to 1-1.

Against the Dream, she hit a three-pointer with the 20.7 seconds remaining and the game tied at 84 to give the Liberty the lead for good. She later sealed the victory with the final two of her career-high 32 points on free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining. She also reached the 2,000-point milestone in the game. One night prior, Christon kept the Liberty close with a team-high 21 points and four rebounds in a one-point loss to Washington.

Christon was named a reserve today for the 2009 Eastern Conference All-Star team. The selection was the first of her career. She becomes the 10th New York Liberty player in franchise history to be chosen for the All-Star Game. She currently ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 19.0 points per game, which is a career-high.

Pondexter earns her third consecutive Player of the Week Award and the fifth of her career. She led Phoenix to its third straight 2-0 week with averages of 19.0 points, 11.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds. She led the WNBA in assists for the week with five more assists per game than any other player. Further, she was tied for fifth overall and second in the Western Conference among the league leaders in scoring.

She set a franchise record for assists in a game, tying the second-highest single game total (Ticha Penicheiro, 16 twice and 15 once) in league history, with 15 against the Monarchs on July 15. She added 12 points in the game for her second double-double of the season. Pondexter ended her week with 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in an overtime win over the Detroit Shock on July 18. Her points and assists totals were both game highs, while her seven rebounds were the most among Mercury players.

Pondexter ranks second (20.3 ppg) in the WNBA in scoring, only 0.4 points behind teammate Diana Taurasi, and first in assists (5.9 apg) in 2009. She’s one of two players (Becky Hammon) to be ranked in the top five of both categories. She was named a reserve for the 2009 WNBA All-Star game, marking her third All-Star selection. Pondexter is an Olympic gold-medalist and a former WNBA Finals MVP.

Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Chamique Holdsclaw, Detroit’s Katie Smith, Sacramento’s Nicole Powell, San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, Seattle’s Tanisha Wright and Washington’s Lindsey Harding.

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