Three-time winner receives 35 of possible 54 votes

Swoopes Repeats as Top Defensive Player

Swoopes took the award home for the third time.
Bill Baptist
WNBAE/Getty Images
NEW YORK, Aug. 31 -- Houston Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes was named the 2003 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year today for the third time in her career. She was previously honored as the league's top defender in 2000 and 2002.

Swoopes received 35 of a possible 54 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Other players receiving votes included Indiana's Tamika Catchings (4), Los Angeles' Lisa Leslie (3), San Antonio's Margo Dydek (2), Minnesota's Katie Smith (2) and Sacramento's Yolanda Griffith (2).

Swoopes led the WNBA in steals this season with 2.48 per game and now ranks second on the WNBA's all-time steals list with 407 in her six-year career. Swoopes' defensive prowess also helped the Comets lead the league in fewest points allowed per game at 63.0 while opposing offenses hit just 40.6 percent of their field goal attempts against Houston on the year -- fourth lowest in the league.

As the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Swoopes will receive a Tiffany-designed trophy and $5,000. The 54-member voting panel consisted of 12 national media representatives, as well as media representatives from each of the league's 14 markets who cover the WNBA regularly.

2003 Defensive Player of the Year Results

35 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
4 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
3 Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks
2 Margo Dydek San Antonio Silver Stars
2 Katie Smith Minnesota Lynx
2 Yolanda Griffith Sacramento Monarchs
1 Chamique Holdsclaw Washington Mystics
1 Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
1 Allison Feaster Charlotte Sting
1 Deanna Nolan Detroit Shock
1 Teresa Edwards Minnesota Lynx
1 DeMya Walker Sacramento Monarchs

Defensive Player of the Year Winners

2003 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
2002 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
2001 Debbie Black Miami Sol
2000 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
1999 Yolanda Griffith Sacramento Monarchs
1998 Teresa Weatherspoon New York Liberty
1997 Teresa Weatherspoon New York Liberty