NEW YORK, Sept. 18 � Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes has won the 2005 WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, the WNBA announced today.

In the closest MVP tally in WNBA history, Swoopes edged Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson for the league�s most prestigious award by two points, 327 to 325. Swoopes received 16 first place votes and Jackson received 20. Swoopes, however, finished with 15 second place, seven third place and nine fourth place votes, while Jackson ended with 15 second place, one third place, three fourth place and six fifth place votes. The voters consisted of a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Media participating in the voting were asked to select their top five choices for the award, with 10 points awarded for a first place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

Rounding out the top five were: Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings, the 2005 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year (238 points); Sacramento Monarch center Yolanda Griffith, an All-Defense First Team member (149 points); and Connecticut Sun forward Taj McWilliams-Franklin, the 2005 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship recipient (128 points).

Swoopes, a five-time All-Star, three-time Defensive Player of the Year and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, has the distinction of being the league�s first three-time MVP (2005, 2002, 2000). Swoopes, the 2005 WNBA All-Star MVP, joins Los Angeles center Lisa Leslie as the only players to win both the All-Star and league MVP (2001) in the same season.

Swoopes this season led Houston back to the playoffs as the Comets posted a 19-15 regular season record. She led the league in scoring (18.6 ppg) and ranked second in steals (2.65 spg), ninth in assists (4.3), eighth in free throw percentage (.850) and 15th in three-point field-goal percentage (.360). The nine-year veteran also paced the WNBA in minutes per game (37.1 mpg).

Swoopes became the first player to reach the 500-steal plateau. She ranks second all-time in scoring (3,894), seventh in assists (775), 17th in rebounding (1,134), 12th in blocked shots (188) and fifth in total minutes (7,789).

In conjunction with the award, Swoopes will receive $15,000 from the league.


327-�Sheryl Swoopes�Houston Comets

325- Lauren Jackson�Seattle Storm

238�-Tamika Catchings�Indiana Fever

149- Yolanda Griffith�Sacramento Monarchs

128�-Taj McWilliams-Franklin�Connecticut Sun

41-�Nykesha Sales�Connecticut Sun

21�- Lisa Leslie�Los Angeles Sparks

18�- Deanna Nolan�Detroit Shock

17�- Chamique Holdsclaw�Los Angeles Sparks

17- �Diana Taurasi�Phoenix Mercury

11�- Lindsay Whalen�Connecticut Sun

7�- Becky Hammon�New York Liberty

1- �Sue Bird�Seattle Storm


2005�Sheryl Swoopes�Houston Comets

2004�Lisa Leslie�Los Angeles Sparks

2003�Lauren Jackson�Seattle Storm

2002�Sheryl Swoopes�Houston Comets

2001�Lisa Leslie�Los Angeles Sparks

2000�Sheryl Swoopes�Houston Comets

1999�Yolanda Griffith�Sacramento Monarchs

1998�Cynthia Cooper�Houston Comets

1997�Cynthia Cooper�Houston Comets