Candace Parker Named 2008 WNBA Most Valuable Player Presented by T-Mobile

--Los Angeles Sparks' Star Becomes First Player to Win Top Award as a Rookie --

NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2008 -- Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker has been named the 2008 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by T-Mobile, the league announced today. Parker received 276.79 points. Connecticut's Lindsay Whalen finished second with 242.08 points and Seattle's Sue Bird came in third with 218.51 points. It marks the first time in the WNBA's 12 seasons that a rookie has earned the award.

Rounding out the top six vote getters in one of the closest MVP races in WNBA history were San Antonio's Sophia Young (169.62), Phoenix's Diana Taurasi (148.98) and San Antonio's Becky Hammon (131.75).

Parker, the top overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft earlier this year, caps a season in which she has also earned All-WNBA First Team honors, the Hanns-G 'Go Beyond' Rookie of the Year Award, two Hanns-G 'Go Beyond' Rookie of the Month Awards (May and July), one Player of the Week Award (Aug. 31) and the Peak Performer Rebounding Award.

She nearly averaged a double-double in 2008 (18.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and was the only player in the league to pull down more than nine rebounds per game. Parker grabbed 10 or more rebounds on 17 occasions and tied her career-high of 16 rebounds three times in 2008, originally set on May 29 at Indiana. In that game, she tallied five or more in five statistical categories (16 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and five steals) to accomplish the league's first "5x5."

In her very first game as a pro at Phoenix on May 17, Parker narrowly missed a triple-double with 34 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. A native of Naperville, Ill. and a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Parker also led the league in double-doubles with 17 and ranked among WNBA leaders in rebounds per game (first), blocks per game (second), points per game (fourth), field goal percentage (fifth), minutes player (seventh) and assists per game (17th).

Presented by T-Mobile, the WNBA MVP was selected by a panel of 45 national sportswriters and broadcasters, which accounted for 75 percent of the vote, and an online fan vote, which accounted for 25 percent of the vote. This was the first year that an online fan vote was incorporated.

In honor of being named the WNBA Most Valuable Player, Parker will receive $15,000 and a specially-designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.

Below are the top 25 vote-getters from the 2008 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by T-Mobile voting and a list of past recipients:

Player Team Total Points
Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks 276.79
Lindsay Whalen Connecticut Sun 242.08
Sue Bird Seattle Storm 218.51
Sophia Young San Antonio Silver Stars 169.62
Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury 148.98
Becky Hammon San Antonio Silver Stars 131.75
Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks 58.23
Deanna Nolan Detroit Shock 53.84
Asjha Jones Connecticut Sun 42.32
Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm 41.79
Seimone Augustus Minnesota Lynx 27.16
Tina Thompson Houston Comets 26.78
Katie Smith Detroit Shock 15.57
Cappie Pondexter Phoenix Mercury 13.58
Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever 12.38
Janel McCarville New York Liberty 8.39
Sylvia Fowles Chicago Sky 7.83
Swin Cash Seattle Storm 6.35
Kara Lawson Sacramento Monarchs 6.13
DeLisha Milton-Jones Los Angeles Sparks 5.46
Candice Wiggins Minnesota Lynx 5.10
Katie Douglas Indiana Fever 4.79
Betty Lennox Atlanta Dream 4.69
Ann Wauters San Antonio Silver Stars 3.86
Alana Beard Washington Mystics 3.11

About T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the U.S. operation of Deutsche Telekom AG's Mobile Communications Business, and a wholly owned subsidiary of T-Mobile International, one of the world's leading companies in mobile communications. By the end of the second quarter of 2008, 125 million mobile customers were served by the mobile communication segments of the Deutsche Telekom group - 31.5 million by T-Mobile USA - all via a common technology platform based on GSM, the world's most widely used digital wireless standard. T-Mobile's innovative wireless products and services help empower people to connect to those who matter most. Multiple independent research studies continue to rank T-Mobile among the highest in numerous regions throughout the U.S. in wireless customer care and call quality. For more information, please visit T-Mobile is a federally registered trademark of Deutsche Telekom AG.

About the WNBA
Comprised of 14 teams, the WNBA is the most successful women's professional team sports league in the world. The WNBA concluded its 12th regular season with increases in key metrics including attendance, ratings and web traffic. The 2008 WNBA Finals presented by adidas began Wednesday, Oct. 1 when the San Antonio Silver Stars hosted the Detroit Shock. The best-of-five series airs on ESPN2.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women's health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to