New York’s Charles and Phoenix’s Taurasi Named Players of the Week

NEW YORK, June 27, 2016 Tina Charles of the New York Liberty and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury today were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played June 20 through June 26.

Charles earned Player of the Week honors for the fourth time this season and the 18th time in her seven-year career.  The 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player and four-time All-Star led the Liberty to a 2-1 week, while the team improved to 10-5 on the season to earn the top spot in the East.  Charles leads the WNBA in scoring (22.3 ppg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg) for the season.

For the week, the former University of Connecticut standout ranked second in scoring (23.3 ppg) and first in assists (6.3 apg) among Eastern Conference players, and paced all WNBA players in rebounding (10 rpg).  On June 22, Charles finished with 23 points, a career-high 10 assists and nine rebounds in a 90-79 overtime win over the Atlanta Dream.  Charles then contributed 21 points and 13 rebounds in an 80-79 home win over the Chicago Sky on June 24 before capping her week with 26 points, eight boards and five assists in a 104-97 overtime loss to the Mercury on June 26.

Taurasi, the 2009 WNBA MVP, was named Player of the Week for the first time this season and the 19th time in her 12-year career.  The eight-time All-WNBA First Team selection led the Mercury to a 2-1 week with road wins over the Washington Mystics and the East-leading Liberty.  She ranks second in the WNBA in scoring (20.5 ppg) for the season.

Taurasi was second in scoring (23.3 ppg) and tied for sixth in assists (4.3 apg) among Western Conference players for the week.  She tipped off her week with 19 points and six assists in a 100-90 road loss to the Dallas Wings on June 21.  Two days later, Taurasi notched 27 points, five rebounds and five assists in Phoenix’s 91-79 victory over the host Mystics.  In the win, Taurasi became the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 7,000 points.  She finished her week with 24 points and five rebounds in the Mercury’s 104-97 overtime road win against the Liberty on June 26.

Other candidates for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne and Cappie Pondexter, Dallas’ Odyssey Sims, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike, Phoenix’s Brittney Griner, the San Antonio Stars’ Kayla McBride, the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart and Washington’s Tayler Hill.

For more information on this week’s Players of the Week, visit www.wnba.com/awards.

2016 WNBA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK