All-Star receives 49 of possible 54 votes

Detroit's Ford Named Rookie of the Year

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 -- Cheryl Ford of the Detroit Shock was named the 2003 WNBA Rookie of the Year today, receiving 49 of a possible 54 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

Cheryl Ford shares her award with the Shock fans.
Allen Einstein
WNBAE/Getty Images
Other players receiving votes were Cleveland's LaToya Thomas (2), San Antonio's Gwen Jackson (2) and Sacramento's Kara Lawson (1).

Ford became only the sixth player, and first rookie, in WNBA history to average a double-double -- 10.8 points and 10.4 rebounds -- for a season. Ford ranked second in the entire WNBA in rebound average, first in double-doubles (15), ninth in field goal percentage (47.4) and 12th in blocked shots (0.97).

Among rookies, Ford was second in scoring; first in rebounding, field goal percentage, minutes played (29.9), and blocked shots; and second in steals (1.00).

In addition to her individual accomplishments, Ford helped lead the Shock to the best record in the WNBA at 25-9 following a 9-23 campaign in 2002. The Shock set Eastern Conference single-season records for winning percentage and wins in 2003, while becoming the first Eastern Conference team to earn home-court advantage throughout the playoffs since the Houston Comets boasted the WNBA's best record in 1997. Detroit's 16-win improvement from 2002 to 2003 also set a WNBA record.

As the WNBA Rookie of the Year, Ford 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 Rookie of the Year Results

VOTES�PLAYERTEAM
49 Cheryl Ford Detroit Shock
2LaToya ThomasCleveland Rockers
2 Gwen Jackson San Antonio Silver Stars
1 Kara Lawson Sacramento Monarchs

Rookie of the Year Winners

YEAR�PLAYERTEAM
2003 Cheryl Ford Detroit Shock
2002 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
2001 Jackie Stiles Portland Fire
2000 Betty Lennox Minnesota Lynx
1999 Chamique Holdsclaw Washington Mystics
1998 Tracy Reid Charlotte Sting