June 7, 2010
NEW YORK - The WNBA announced Monday that Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm was named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors for games played Monday, May 31 through Sunday, June 6.
Jackson’s record-setting 16th Player of the Week award of her career moves her past WNBA legend Lisa Leslie for the most such honors in WNBA history. Jackson also won the award following the first week of the season and last week was selected as the Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Kia Motors.
A two-time winner of the WNBA Most Valuable Player award presented by Kia Motors, Jackson led Seattle to a 3-0 mark during the week including a 90-72 win over previously undefeated Atlanta, a 79-75 defeat of the host Los Angeles Sparks in the Sunset Showdown (a contest played outdoors at the Home Depot Center Tennis Stadium), and a 97-74 thumping of the defending champion Phoenix Mercury. In the process, Seattle elevated its overall record to a league-leading 8-1 and notched the best start to a season in the franchise’s history.
Now in her 10th WNBA season, Jackson led the way by scoring in double figures in each game and averaging 21.7 points (fourth best), 8.3 rebounds (seventh best) and 1.3 blocks per game. For the season, Jackson ranks third in the WNBA in points (20.8), fifth in blocks (1.8) and tenth in rebounds (8.1) per game.
Perhaps her best performance of the week came in the Storm’s 90-72 decision over the then 6-0 Atlanta Dream. Jackson was dominant throughout and finished with game-high figures for points (32), rebounds (10), and blocks (3). The native of Australia followed that up with 17 points and nine rebounds at Los Angeles and 16 points and six rebounds in a win over Phoenix the following day.
Chicago's Sylvia Fowles was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors. For Fowles, the Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors award is the first of her career. The honor came after she led the league in both points (25.5) and blocks (2.5) per game, while also averaging 11.0 rebounds (third best), 1.5 steals and 1.0 assist per game in leading the Sky to a pair of wins. With an 80-70 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Dream in Atlanta and a 95-70 defeat of the visiting Tulsa Shock, Chicago lifted its record to 4-4 after stumbling from the blocks with a 0-4 mark.
After missing 17 games due to injury as a rookie in 2008 and another 10 last season, Fowles, the second overall selection in the 2008 Draft, is undeniably making her presence felt. A dominating effort in Chicago’s win over Tulsa included a career-high 32 points, 13 boards, four blocks and a steal. One day earlier, the LSU product poured in 19 points, grabbed nine rebounds and recorded two assists, two steals and a block to help drop Eastern Conference rival Atlanta. For the season, Fowles leads the league in blocks (2.5 per game), ranks fifth in scoring (19.9 ppg) and eighth in rebounds (8.5 rpg).
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Connecticut’s Tina Charles, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, Minnesota’s Rebekkah Brunson, New York’s Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix’s DeWanna Bonner, San Antonio’s Sophia Young, Tulsa’s Scholanda Robinson, and Washington’s Crystal Langhorne.