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NEW YORK, June 25, 2012 – Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile, respectively, for games played from June 18-24.
This marks the first season that Boost Mobile – the leaguewide marquee partner of the WNBA – has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week awards.
For Catchings, the reigning league MVP, the Player of the Week award presented by Boost Mobile is the 16th such honor of her career and moves her into second place in league history in that category behind only Seattle’s Lauren Jackson (19).
Catchings led Indiana to a 2-1 record for the week as the Fever split a home-and-home series with the Eastern Conference leader, the Connecticut Sun, and earned a road win over the Tulsa Shock. In the process, Catchings ranked among the conference leaders in every major statistical category, including, assists (5.7 apg, second), rebounds (8.3 rpg, third), steals (2.0 spg, tied for third), blocks (1.33 bpg, tied for fourth), and points (14.3 ppg, seventh).
After opening the week with a 14-point effort in an 88-85 overtime loss at Connecticut, Catchings and the Fever returned home to Bankers Life Fieldhouse where she was just two assists shy of a triple double-double in a 95-61 win over the Sun. The four-time league Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists – along with four steals – in the victory. She then closed out the week with 16 points, 8 boards, 4 assists, and a pair of blocks in a 73-70 win at Tulsa.
For Parker, who earned league MVP and Rookie of the Year accolades in 2008, the Player of the Week award presented by Boost Mobile is the eighth of her career, her third in the first five weeks of the 2012 season, and her second in as many weeks.
Despite sitting out a road game at Phoenix where she rested a sore knee, Parker helped lead the Sparks to a 3-1 record on the week as Los Angeles improved its overall record to 10-4 and maintained a solid hold on the second spot in the Western Conference.
Parker, like Catchings, a product of the University of Tennessee, finished the week as a dominant figure in Western Conference player rankings. She paced the conference in rebounds (10.3 rpg) and blocks (4 bpg), while ranking third in scoring (19.7 ppg).
Also like Catchings, Parker’s top performance of the week nearly resulted in a triple-double as she posted 33 points, eight rebounds, and nine blocks in a 95-79 win over Tulsa. While Parker’s point total equaled her season high thus far, it was the nine blocks that etched her name in the WNBA record books, making her only third player in league history to post as many (the late Margo Dydek and Leslie each recorded a 10-block game, and Dydek swatted away nine shots three other times).
The fifth-year pro closed out the week with 15 points, 15 rebounds – including 10 defensive boards – 3 assists and a pair of blocks in a 91-71 defeat at the hands of the visiting San Antonio Silver Stars.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile were Atlanta’s Sancho Lyttle, Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles, and Connecticut’s Kara Lawson in the East, and, in the West, Minnesota’s Lindsay Whalen, Seattle’s Ann Wauters, and Tulsa’s Glory Johnson.
The WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile are part of a series of on-court performance awards called the WNBA Performance Awards presented by Boost Mobile. The series, currently in its first season, also includes the WNBA Players of the Month presented by Boost Mobile and four of the WNBA's most prestigious year-end honors: WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Boost Mobile, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile, WNBA Sixth Woman presented by Boost Mobile, and WNBA Most Improved Player presented by Boost Mobile.
For more information on this week's Players of the Week presented by Boost Mobile winners, visit www.wnba.com/awards.