Sept. 28, 2012
NEW YORK -- For the fifth time in her career, Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile, the league announced Friday. The former Tennessee All-American and NCAA champion previously won the award in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Catchings received 19 out of 41 votes, 11 more than Atlanta Dream guard/forward Angel McCoughtry (eight). Los Angeles Sparks teammates forward Candace Parker (six), another former UT All-American and NCAA champ, and guard Alana Beard (four), Atlanta Dream forward Sancho Lyttle (two), Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles (one) and San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young (one) received the remaining votes.
Catchings also made the WNBA All-Defensive First Team, while Parker was a second-team selection. On Thursday, Parker and Catchings were announced as the second- and third-place finishers in balloting for the WNBA's Most Valuable Player award. The former Lady Vols teamed up over the summer in London to help the USA women win their fifth-straight Olympic gold medal. They've also led their WNBA teams into the playoffs.
Equally adept on the offensive end, this season Catchings finished first in the East and second overall in scoring among forwards (17.4 ppg) and third in the conference in field goals made (200). She led Indiana in rebounds (7.6 rpg), defensive rebounds (5.8 drpg), double-doubles (10), steals (2.06 spg) and blocks (0.85 bpg).
Honored as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Boost Mobile for August, Catchings ranked fourth in the league in defensive rebounds and double-doubles, fifth in steals, and sixth in rebounds.
Catchings, referred to as Indiana's "do-everything" forward, is in her 12th season of league play. The 2011 WNBA Most Valuable Player is also a seven-time WNBA All-Star.
In honor of being named the Defensive Player of the Year presented by Boost Mobile, Catchings will receive $5,000 and a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co.
Parker led the WNBA in blocks (76, 2.30 bpg.), finished seventh in scoring (17.4 ppg.), third in rebounds (9.6 rpg.) and second in double-doubles (18). The fifth-year pro was the WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year in 2008, a second-team All-WNBA choice in 2009 and a 2011 WNBA All-Star.