Lisa Leslie and Janel McCarville
Named WNBA Players of the Week
NEW YORK, June 16, 2008 Janel McCarville of the New York Liberty and Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the WNBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, June 9 through Sunday, June 15.
McCarville collects her first-career Player of the Week award in her fourth WNBA season after averaging 18.5 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 61.5 percent (16-26) from the field. The former No. 1 pick helped push the Liberty over the .500 mark for the first time in 2008 with two wins this week against Atlanta and Minnesota.
On the road against Atlanta, McCarville tied her career-high in points (25 at Phoenix, Aug. 9, 2007) while also involving her Liberty teammates in the offense with a career-best seven assists. She led New York back from a 12-point deficit with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to earn the squads first road win of the season. After New York tied the Dream at 74, McCarville assisted on Essence Carsons go-ahead jumper and then sank a running layup shot which proved to be the game-winning basket. Against the Lynx, McCarville contributed to a balanced Liberty attack with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in New Yorks one-point victory.
Selected by New York in the 2007 Charlotte Sting Dispersal Draft, McCarville is averaging 10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists this season. In her first season with the Liberty, McCarville was named the 2007 WNBA Most Improved Player.
Leslie earns her league-record 15th-career Player of the Week award on the heels of a week in which she averaged 17.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 4.0 blocks in the Sparks three games. She led Los Angeles in scoring in each game as the Sparks sported an impeccable 3-0 record on the week, including wins over the defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Shock, the Connecticut Sun owners of the best record in the league and the Sacramento Monarchs.
At home against Detroit, Leslie scored 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds both game highs as the Sparks bounced back from a home loss to the Phoenix Mercury with a 80-73 win over the Shock. She followed that game up with her best performance of the year in the Sparks win over Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut Sun. The 10-year veteran put on a 22-point, 10-rebound, 4-assist showcase in Los Angeles 98-93 overtime victory. Both her point and assist totals were season-highs for the three-time WNBA MVP. With the teams win over Sacramento in which Leslie scored 14 points, the Sparks improved to 3-0 on the week and 7-2 for the season, giving the team the leagues second-best record (Connecticut, 8-2).
Leslie currently averages 17.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds for the season and is one of two players (Candace Parker) to average a double-double in 2008. She is only one of three players (Lauren Jackson, 12; Tamika Catchings, 11) to win more than 10 Player of the Week awards in a career.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Connecticuts Asjha Jones, Detroits Tasha Humphrey, Phoenixs Cappie Pondexter, Sacramentos
Nicole Powell, San Antonios Ann Wauters and Seattles Lauren Jackson.
About the WNBA
Comprised of 14 teams and entering its 12th season, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful womens professional team sports league in America. The 2008 season tips off May 17 with ESPN2 again providing appointment viewing in the form of its WNBA Tuesdays telecasts. Combined coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts, while NBA TV, the leagues 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular-season contests.
The WNBA is deeply committed to WNBA CARES programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness, breast health awareness, reading and youth basketball programs. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.