July 19, 2010
NEW YORK - The WNBA announced Tuesday 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, July 12 through Sunday, July 18.
By winning the Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors award for the fifth time in the first nine weeks of the 2010 season, Jackson extends her own WNBA record for such honors to 19 and ties her mark for the most Player of the Week awards in a single season. The Australian native also was selected as the Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Kia Motors for both May and June.
Jackson, who ranks second in the WNBA in scoring (22.1 ppg) and sixth in both rebounds (9.4 rpg) and blocks (1.53 bpg) thus far in 2010, led Seattle to a 2-0 mark during the week. The wins, including a triple-overtime thriller at Phoenix, extended the Storm’s record to 18-2, equaling the second best start in WNBA history. In the process, the 10th-year WNBA star increased her string of consecutive games scoring 20 or more points to six.
A two-time winner of the WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors (2003 and 2007), Jackson missed one game after suffering a concussion at Los Angeles July 3, but returned to action with 31 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks in a win over the defending WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury. She followed that up with 26 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks in a win at Minnesota. For the week, Jackson led the league in rebounds (12.5 rpg) and blocks (3.0 bpg), and finished second in scoring (28.5 ppg) behind only Diana Taurasi.
Indiana's Tamika Catchings was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors. With her first Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors award of the season, Catchings extends her career total for such honors to 13, third best in WNBA history behind only Jackson (19) and Lisa Leslie (15).
By leading the league in steals (3.0 spg), tying for fourth in rebounds (10.0 rpg), and ranking sixth in scoring (22.3 ppg) during the week, Catchings helped the Fever to a 2-1 mark and into first place in the Eastern Conference with a 13-7 record overall. Her double-doubles in wins over conference rivals Atlanta and New York give her four on the season and 64 in her WNBA career, placing her just one behind Taj McWilliams-Franklin for seventh place on the WNBA's all-time career list. With her 22 points at New York, Catchings registered 20 or more points for the fourth straight game and finished as Indiana’s leading scorer for the sixth time in as many contests. It was in the game at New York that the University of Tennessee product scored 16 of her points in the final 10:48 of the game, including 9 of the team's 11 points in overtime as Indiana engineered a come-from-behind win.
Other candidates for WNBA Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Los Angeles’ Tina Thompson, New York’s Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix’s Candice Dupree, San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, Tulsa’s Ivory Latta and Washington’s Crystal Langhorne.