Oct. 17, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Former Lady Vol Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks has been named the Sportswoman of the Year for Team Sports by the Women's Sports Foundation, the organization announced Thursday.
The Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), the leader in promoting sports, health and education for girls and women, honored the most accomplished women in sports and the girls they inspire at the 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports Wednesday night at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. WSF Founder Billie Jean King, WSF President Angela Ruggiero, and award-winning ESPN sports broadcaster and event host, Hannah Storm, were among the high-profile attendees at the event alongside notable athletes such as Missy Franklin (Swimming), Michelle Kwan (Figure Skating), Annika Sorenstam (Golf), Julie Foudy (Soccer), Tatyana McFadden (Track & Field) and Diana Nyad (Swimming).
The Women's Sports Foundation's coveted 2013 Sportswoman of the Year award was given to Candace Parker (Basketball), for a team sport, and Missy Franklin (Swimming), for an individual sport. Iraq War veteran, Paralympian and three-time Paratriathlon World Champion, Melissa Stockwell, received the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award. The Billie Jean King Contribution Award, which recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates a lasting commitment and dedication to the growth of sports, fitness and physical activity for women and girls, was awarded to the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Young philanthropist and emerging tennis star, Vivian Hao, was the recipient of the ANNIKA Inspiration Award. Below, please find additional information on all of the award winners.
"When the organization was founded 39 years ago we envisioned events like tonight's dinner where we would celebrate the world's greatest women athletes and renew our commitment to Title IX and health," said Women's Sports Foundation Founder, Billie Jean King. "Tonight we saw once again how important it is for us to continue to do more for future generations."
The 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports was co-presented by espnW and Gatorade®.
Candace Parker, Winner of the Sportswoman of the Year Award (Team Sport)
The Los Angeles Sparks forward led the WNBA in total blocks (76) and was second in rebounds (320) for the 2012 season. Parker was also ranked No.1 in blocks per game (2.3) and No. 3 in rebounds per game (9.7) for the 2012 WNBA regular season. Her stellar performance helped the Sparks become No.2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs for the 2012 season. She finished the 2012 WNBA season with an impressive 573 points, averaging 17.4 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 3.3 assists per game. In October, for the second time in her career, Parker was named to All-WNBA first-team.
Past winners include Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Venus and Serena Williams, Jessica Mendoza and Mia Hamm.