Detroit’s Deanna Nolan and San Antonio’s Vickie Johnson Named WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week
Deanna Nolan wins the fifth Player of the Week award of her career and second in as many weeks after averaging an Eastern Conference-leading 20.7 points on 51.1 percent (23-45) shooting, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in three games. She helped the Shock to a 3-0 record as Detroit moved into third place in the conference standings.
Against the first-place Indiana Fever, Nolan scored 22 points, collected five rebounds, handed out four assists and recorded four steals. She scored over 20 points in the game for the second time in the week and for the fourth consecutive game. One game earlier, she totaled 21 points against the Western Conference-leading Phoenix Mercury. Nolan wrapped up the week with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Chicago Sky.
Nolan is the fourth player to win consecutive Player of the Week awards this season. She has been selected to both the All-WNBA teams and WNBA All-Star teams four times. A member of three WNBA Championship teams with Detroit, she was named the 2006 WNBA Finals MVP. She’s averaging 16.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season.
Johnson wins the first Player of the Week award of her 13-year career in the week in which she was honored by San Antonio on “Vickie Johnson Night.” She averaged 22.0 points on a league-leading 76.0 percent (19-25) shooting, 3.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in two wins. Johnson helped San Antonio to wins over the two teams, Minnesota and Los Angeles, that sandwich the Silver Stars in the Western Conference standings.
In the win over the Sparks, Johnson tied her career high for points with 27, including 15 in the third quarter. She hit five of six three-pointers to tie another career high. Against the Lynx on “Vickie Johnson Night,” she scored 17 points, collected six rebounds and handed out four assists. She hit a jumper with 44.9 seconds remaining in the first overtime to tie the game and force a second overtime.
Johnson, who previously announced that she will retire at the end of the 2009 season, is one of four players remaining from the 1997 inaugural WNBA season. She is one of two players (Becky Hammon) to score over 4,000 points and hand out over 1,000 assists in her career. Johnson is a two-time All-Star and the WNBA’s all-time leader in games played.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Connecticut’s Anete Jekabsone-Zogota, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, Phoenix’s Cappie Pondexter, Sacramento’s Rebekkah Brunson and Seattle’s Camille Little.
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