Before Detroit and San Antonio tangle in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals, they will yield the floor to a player who raised the bar for future players.
Preceding tip-off in San Antonio, Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker will receive the league's Most Valuable Player award, The Los Angeles Times reported. Parker would become the first WNBA player to win MVP and the rookie of the year award in the same season.
The Times reported on its Web site late Thursday that Parker would be named MVP.
"It would mean a lot to me, playing in that highest level and actually winning the MVP award," Parker told The Times.
The WNBA is scheduled to make successive announcements for rookie of the year and MVP before Game 2 of the Shock-Silver Stars series in San Antonio (ESPN2, 7:45 p.m. ET).
The WNBA also announced its all-rookie team Friday. Parker, a unanimous selection as rookie of the year, was joined on the team by Minnesota guard Candice Wiggins, Chicago center Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota center Nicky Anosike, Houston guard Matee Ajavon and Connecticut forward Amber Holt. Ajavon and Holt tied for the fifth spot on the team and were both rewarded with a selection.
Parker, the league's No. 1 draft pick out of Tennessee, averaged 18.5 points on 52.3 percent shooting from the field, a WNBA-best 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots in the regular season.
"She's pulling those type of numbers with great people around her," Sparks general manager Penny Toler told The Times. "I know people say that's easier, but it isn't. Sometimes, if you have a rookie, they may sit back and say, 'Well, let me just do the minimum.' But she never sat back, she did as much as she could to try to help us win."
The 22-year-old Parker told The Times that she took pride most in her rebounding.
"With rebounding, you get extra possessions, you finish possessions and it's important to your team," said Parker, who credited Sparks coach Michael Cooper for providing her the opportunity to grow as a pro.
"He never lowered the bar," Parker told The Times. "He always continued to raise it and I think that's why I always continued to be successful this year."
Among Parker's notable first-season highlights: scoring 34 points in her debut game, dunking in consecutive games and totaling 71 points in back-to-back wins in July. She also helped Team USA win Olympic gold in Beijing in August.
Candace Parker to Win Both ROY and MVP!!!!!
Posted October 03, 2008 - 08:13 AM
Posted October 03, 2008 - 08:18 AM
Too bad the Sparks couldn't make it to the Finals and win the championship - ROY, League MVP, Olympic Gold and a title would've been a helluva year. 3 out of 4 is freaking impressive.
Posted October 03, 2008 - 08:27 AM
Posted October 03, 2008 - 09:19 AM
Posted October 03, 2008 - 09:55 AM
Posted October 03, 2008 - 06:35 PM
Posted October 03, 2008 - 06:40 PM
United we stand. Divided we fall.
Posted October 03, 2008 - 06:41 PM
It's crazy just a couple of years ago, we went to rival schools in high school, and know she's one of the best players in the WNBA.
Posted October 03, 2008 - 11:24 PM
Her best stat of all? 5x5. Period.
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