Connecticut's Tina Charles and Minnesota's Seimone Augustus Named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week

NEW YORK, June 21, 2010 Tina Charles of the Connecticut Sun and Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx, were named the league�s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors, respectively, for regular season games played Monday, June 14 through Sunday, June 20.

This marks the first season that Kia Motors, an official marketing partner of the WNBA, has presented the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week award.

For Charles, the first pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft, and May�s Rookie of the Month presented by Kia Motors winner, this marks her first Player of the Week award. Charles, helped the Sun to a 2-0 record this past week as she led the WNBA in rebounding with 15.5 rpg and paced the Eastern Conference with 25.0 points per outing.

Through 11 games, Charles has helped the Sun to the top spot in the Eastern Conference with an 8-3 (.727) mark. Overall, she is the WNBA�s top rebounder (11.0 rpg) and ranks 13th in scoring (16.3 ppg, tops among rookies).

Charles had arguably the best game of her professional career on June 18, when she netted a career-high 26 points and set a franchise record with 19 rebounds in a 78-75 win over the host Los Angeles Sparks. In that same game, her 13 made field goals also tied a Connecticut Sun single-game mark. Just two days later, Charles led Connecticut past the defending champion Phoenix Mercury with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Along the way, the Queens, N.Y. native and University of Connecticut product picked up her eighth double-double of the season, four shy of the franchise record, in only 11 games. She has led the Sun in rebounding in 10 of 11 games.

Highlights from Charles' 26-point, 19-rebound night against the Sparks:

For Augustus, the top overall pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft, the Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors award is the fourth of her career. More importantly, it signifies a successful return from a pair of surgical procedures � first to the ACL in her left knee following a collision with the Phoenix Mercury�s Diana Taurasi on June 17, 2009, and then to remove non-cancerous fibroids this past April.

Augustus returned to the Minnesota lineup on June 13 against the Sparks
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
Augustus averaged 21.5 points (fourth in Western Conference, seventh overall), 3.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 block while leading the Lynx to a 2-0 record with back-to-back victories over the Tulsa Shock this past week.

The pair of wins gave Minnesota a 2-2 mark in games since Augustus made her 2010 debut and pulled the Lynx to within 1.5 games of second place in the West. The LSU product and Baton Rouge, La., native had missed the first nine games of the year.

After being idle for 19 home games stretching back to 2009, Augustus made a triumphant return to Target Center on June 18, with a game-high 27 points (her highest total since netting 30 on June 16, 2009), five rebounds and two blocks. Included in that effort were a career-high five three-pointers and a team-leading seven points in the fourth quarter that helped Minnesota rally for a 78-67 win. It marked the Lynx first victory in the last nine games in which they had entered the fourth quarter with a deficit.

One night later in Tulsa, Augustus scored 16 points, including four more treys, in a 92-78 win over the Shock. The four three-pointers brought her total to a league-high nine for the week.

Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Indiana�s Tamika Catchings, Los Angeles� Tina Thompson, New York�s Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix�s Diana Taurasi, Seattle�s Lauren Jackson, Tulsa�s Scholanda Robinson, and Washington�s Katie Smith.

The WNBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors are part of a series of on-court performance awards called "The WNBA Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors." The series, currently in its second season, includes four of the WNBA's most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Sixth Woman of the Year, along with the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month. Kia Motors has been an official marketing partner of the WNBA since 2008.

For more information on this week's Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors winners, visit