September 11, 2019

Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike makes WNBA All-Defensive Team for 5th year in a row

By anaheimsigns

Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike was named an All-Defensive first-teamer for the fourth time in five seasons, the WNBA announced Wednesday morning.

The other defensive first-teamers: Seattle’s Natasha Howard, who was named Defensive Player of the Year, and teammate Jordin Canada, and Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones and Jasmine Thomas.

Ogwumike, who also serves as the WNBPA president, was an All-Defensive second-teamer last year. She has now been voted to the All-Defensive Team for five consecutive seasons.

The WNBA’s 12 head coaches vote on the All-Defensive first and second teams by position and are not permitted to vote for players from their own teams. Players got five points for each first-team vote and three points for each second-team vote.

Howard received the maximum 55 votes and earned All-Defensive First Team honors for the second consecutive season. Jones, a center, garnered 42 points. Ogwumike and Sun guard Thomas both got 36. Storm guard and former UCLA star Canada had 34.

The WNBA All-Defensive Second Team: Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (34 points), Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins (27), Storm forward Alysha Clark (26), Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) and Mystics guard Natasha Cloud (25).

Ogwumike, who at 6-foot-2 often effectively guards taller players in the post, ranked third in the WNBA in defensive rebounding (6.5 per game) and fifth in steals (1.88 per contest).

The Sparks host a single-elimination second-round playoff game at noon Sunday (ESPN2) against the lowest-seeded winner of Wednesday’s two first-round games.

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