NEW YORK, Aug. 20 — Sheryl Swoopes of the Houston Comets has been named the recipient of the 2002 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Buick.
In addition to this season’s impressive double, Swoopes was also named MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in 2000.
After missing the entire 2001 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Swoopes made a tremendous return, finishing the regular season as the WNBA’s third leading scorer (18.5 points per game) and second in steals (2.75 per game), while leading the Comets to the second best record in the league at 24-8.
The 6-0 forward, who picks up her second MVP award, will receive $25,000 from the league in conjunction with the award, and Buick will present her with a new 2003 Buick Rendezvous.
Swoopes received 482 points and 29 first-place votes from a national panel of 60 sportswriters and broadcasters. Last season’s winner Los Angeles Sparks Lisa Leslie (380 points) finished second as Indiana’s Tamika Catchings breakout rookie season led to a third place finish (356). Washington’s Chamique Holdsclaw (169) and Seattle’s Sue Bird (75) rounded out the top five in votes received. Media participating in the vote were asked to select their top five choices for the award, with 10 points awarded for a first-place vote, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.
Swoopes’ comeback from a torn ACL was a catalyst for the Houston Comets qualifying for their sixth straight playoffs, making them the only team to compete in every WNBA postseason. Swoopes, the leading vote-getter for this year’s WNBA All-Star Game, is a three-time All-WNBA selection and four-time world champion. She posted a career-high in minutes played (1,154), second in the league this season, and finished in the top five of 11 statistical categories, including first in field goals made (221). Swoopes also became the only player in WNBA history to record 2,000 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists and 300 steals.