AP names Candace Parker WNBA Defensive Player of the Year

Candace Parker / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – LVFL Candace Parker has picked up a pair of significant honors this week, as the Associated Press named her WNBA Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday after the league office had recognized her as a WNBA Peak Performer for being the season leader in rebounding.

Playing her 13th WNBA season with Los Angeles, Parker averaged 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks in 22 games to earn her first WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award. She also won her third rebounding title and first since back-to-back Peak Performer Awards for boards in 2008 and 2009.

The WNBA presents the Peak Performer Awards annually to the players who lead the league in each of those categories during the regular season.  Each winner will receive a trophy crafted by Tiffany & Co. in honor of her accomplishments.

A two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player, Parker posted 10 or more rebounds 12 times this season, including a streak of five consecutive double-digit rebounding games July 30-Aug. 9.  She 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.

In terms of defensive-specific stats, Parker had two or more steals in 11 games and blocked two or more shots on eight occasions. A three-time WBCA All-American and two-time NCAA champion at Tennessee from 2006 to 2008, Parker had a season-high three steals vs. Chicago on July 28 and posted a best of three blocks vs. Connecticut on July 30, vs. Las Vegas on Aug. 7 and vs. Seattle on Sept. 4.

With Parker leading Los Angeles in scoring and rebounding, the Sparks (15-7) earned the No. 3 seed in WNBA Playoffs 2020 presented by AT&T and received a bye into the second round.  They will play a single-elimination second-round game on Thursday, Sept. 17, on ESPN2.

-UT Athletics

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