NEW YORK, Aug. 10, 2015 – Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky and Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Aug. 3 through Aug. 9.
For Delle Donne, the Player of the Week honor is her fourth of the season and the ninth of her career. The three-time All-Star and current WNBA scoring leader helped Chicago post a 2-1 record for the week by averaging an Eastern Conference-high 23.0 points per game, tying for fourth in the East in blocks (1.67 bpg), ranking sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.471, 8-of-17), and finishing tied for seventh in rebounding (6.7 rpg). The University of Delaware product also made 21-of-22 free throws, raising her league-leading season percentage to .953.
Delle Donne, who paced Chicago in scoring in all three games, opened the week by recording 19 points, six rebounds, a career-high six assists, and four blocks in just 23 minutes as the host Sky downed Indiana, 106-82, on Aug. 4 to sweep the season series for the first time in franchise history. She followed that effort with 17 points and six rebounds in a 77-63 home loss to the New York Liberty on Aug. 7. Delle Donne capped her week with a huge performance on Aug. 9, scoring a game-high 33 points (including 11-of-18 shooting from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point range) and grabbing eight rebounds as Chicago defeated visiting Phoenix, 74-64, to improve to 14-9 (.609) and snap the Mercury’s five-game winning streak.
Griner, the reigning WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Samsung, earned her first Western Conference Player of the Week honor of the season and the third of her career. The third-year pro and former No. 1 overall draft pick (she was selected one spot ahead of Delle Donne in 2013) paced the league in blocks (5.3 bpg) en route to becoming the Mercury’s all-time leader with 279 in 76 games, surpassing the 271 for Diana Taurasi over 334 games. Griner also led the Western Conference in rebounding (13.0 rpg) and ranked fourth in the West in field goal percentage (.629, 22-of-35) and fifth in scoring (17.3 ppg).
The Baylor University product helped Phoenix (14-8, .636) to a 2-1 mark, posting a scoring and rebounding double-double in all three games and blocking five or more shots in each contest. Griner collected 18 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks, and three assists in an 87-84 home victory over the Tulsa Shock on Aug. 4. She then contributed 13 points, 12 boards, and six blocks as the Mercury defeated the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Lynx, 73-66, in Phoenix on Aug. 7. Griner closed out her week with 21 points, five blocks, and a season-high 14 rebounds (including 13 on the defensive end) in a 74-64 loss at Chicago on Aug. 9.
Other candidates for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were the Atlanta Dream’s Angel McCoughtry, the Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker, the Lynx’s Maya Moore, the Liberty’s Tina Charles and Epiphanny Prince, the Mercury’s DeWanna Bonner, and the Seattle Storm’s Crystal Langhorne.
|2015 WNBA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK|
|Week Ending||East Player||Team||West Player||Team|
|6/14/15||Elena Delle Donne||Chicago Sky||DeWanna Bonner||Phoenix Mercury|
|6/21/15||Elena Delle Donne||Chicago Sky||Skylar Diggins||Tulsa Shock|
|6/28/15||Elena Delle Donne||Chicago Sky||Lindsay Whalen||Minnesota Lynx|
|7/6/15||Tamika Catchings||Indiana Fever||Nneka Ogwumike||Los Angeles Sparks|
|7/13/15||Cappie Pondexter||Chicago Sky||Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|7/20/15||Tina Charles||New York Liberty||Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|08/03/15||Tina Charles||New York Liberty||Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|08/10/15||Elena Delle Donne||Chicago Sky||Brittney Griner||Phoenix Mercury|
For more information on this week’s Players of the Week, visit www.wnba.com/awards.