Sparks’ Alana Beard Named 2018 Defensive Player Of The Year

NEW YORK, Aug. 30, 2018 – Los Angeles Sparks guard/forward Alana Beard has been named the 2018 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, the WNBA announced today.  Beard earned the honor for the second consecutive season, becoming the fifth player in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons.

Beard received 16 votes from a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters.  Three-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx finished second with nine votes.  Tiffany Hayes of the Atlanta Dream finished third with four votes, while Jessica Breland of Atlanta and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury finished tied for fourth with two votes apiece.

Beard’s 1.47 steals per game ranked fourth in the WNBA and helped the Sparks pace the league in steals (7.94 spg) and points allowed (77.0 ppg).  Los Angeles also ranked second in opponents’ turnovers per game (14.97) and defensive rating (98.7 points per 100 possessions).

For the season, Beard averaged 4.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 40.0 percent from three-point range. Her contributions helped the Sparks (19-15) make the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season.

Beard, an eight-time WNBA All-Defensive Team selection, was the second overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft and played six seasons for the Washington Mystics before joining the Sparks in 2012.  The former Duke standout ranks third on the WNBA’s all-time steals list with 698, tops among active players.

In honor of being named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Beard will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.

Below are the voting results for the 2018 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award and a list of past recipients:


Player                               Team                                              Votes

Alana Beard                    Los Angeles Sparks                             16

Sylvia Fowles                   Minnesota Lynx                                          9

Tiffany Hayes                   Atlanta Dream                                           4

Jessica Breland                 Atlanta Dream                                          2

Brittney Griner                 Phoenix Mercury                                      2

Alysha Clark                     Seattle Storm                                              1

Natasha Howard               Seattle Storm                                            1

LaToya Sanders                Washington Mystics                                 1

Breanna Stewart               Seattle Storm                                            1

Brittney Sykes                  Atlanta Dream                                           1

Gabby Williams               Chicago Sky                                                1



Year                Player                                     Team

2018                Alana Beard                        Los Angeles Sparks

2017                Alana Beard                              Los Angeles Sparks

2016                Sylvia Fowles                            Minnesota Lynx

2015                Brittney Griner                         Phoenix Mercury

2014                Brittney Griner                         Phoenix Mercury

2013                Sylvia Fowles                            Chicago Sky

2012                Tamika Catchings                    Indiana Fever

2011                Sylvia Fowles                             Chicago Sky

2010                Tamika Catchings                   Indiana Fever

2009                Tamika Catchings                   Indiana Fever

2008                Lisa Leslie                                Los Angeles Sparks

2007                Lauren Jackson                       Seattle Storm

2006                Tamika Catchings                   Indiana Fever

2005                Tamika Catchings                   Indiana Fever

2004                Lisa Leslie                                Los Angeles Sparks

2003                Sheryl Swoopes                       Houston Comets

2002                Sheryl Swoopes                       Houston Comets

2001                Debbie Black                            Miami Sol

2000                Sheryl Swoopes                      Houston Comets

1999                Yolanda Griffith                       Sacramento Monarchs

1998                Teresa Weatherspoon             New York Liberty

1997                Teresa Weatherspoon             New York Liberty