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LVFL Parker named 2020 WNBA Defensive Player Of The Year

candace parker
Image courtesy of UTAD

KNOXVILLE – LVFL Candace Parker was named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday, the league office announced. With that honor, the 13-year veteran swept both league and Associated Press honors in that category.

Parker received 16 votes from a national panel of 47 sportswriters and broadcasters. Seattle Storm forward Alysha Clark finished in second place with 11 votes and Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas finished in third place with 10 votes. The other players to receive votes were Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner (four votes), Storm forward Breanna Stewart (three votes), Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier (two) and 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Natasha Howard of the Storm (one).

Parker, who has played her entire career with the Los Angeles Sparks, previously garnered AP accolades as well as WNBA Peak Performer status back on Sept. 15 for being the league's season leader in rebounding.

During the 2020 regular season, Parker averaged a WNBA-high 8.0 defensive rebounds, 1.23 blocked shots (eighth in the WNBA) and 1.18 steals in 22 games. She was one of five players to average at least one block and one steal per game, joining Collier, Stewart, Turner and 2020 WNBA Most Valuable Player A'ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces. Parker grabbed at least 10 defensive rebounds in a game nine times.

Behind Parker, the Sparks ranked third in the WNBA in defensive rating, allowing 98.8 points allowed per 100 possessions. The 6-4 Parker helped Los Angeles hold opponents to 31.3 points per game in the paint, the second fewest in the WNBA.

Parker's defensive prowess was part of a season in which she averaged 14.7 points, a WNBA-leading 9.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists while shooting 51.0 percent from the field and 39.6 percent from three-point range. A two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player, Parker finished in third place for the 2020 WNBA MVP Award. With Parker excelling on both ends of the court, the Sparks posted the WNBA's third-best record at 15-7.

In honor of being named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Parker will receive $5,150 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.

As for the previously-announced WNBA Peak Performer Award for rebounding, the league awards those honors annually to the players who lead in scoring, rebounding and assists during the regular season. Each winner receives a trophy crafted by Tiffany & Co. in honor of her accomplishments.

Parker posted 10 or more rebounds 13 times this season, including a streak of five consecutive double-digit rebounding games July 30-Aug. 9. The three-time WBCA All-American and two-time NCAA champion at Tennessee from 2006 to 2008, grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds against the Washington Mystics on Sept. 10 and had 15 rebounds to go with 24 points against the Chicago Sky on Sept. 6.

Source: UTAD

Published September 26, 2020

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