, June 1, 2010 – Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the league’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors, respectively, for regular season games played Monday, May 24 through Sunday, May 30.
This marks the first season that Kia Motors, an official marketing partner of the , has presented the Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week award.
McCoughtry, who last week earned the first Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors award of her career, has the Dream 6-0 heading into tonight’s game against the Western Conference leading Seattle Storm, off to the best start in the franchise’s three-year history. As the league’s lone remaining undefeated team, Atlanta’s resume includes wins over both the defending champion Phoenix Mercury and the 2009 Eastern Conference champs, the Indiana Fever, as well as the club’s first ever win at Madison Square Garden.
The Rookie of the Year last season, McCoughtry currently leads the in scoring, averaging 24.0 points per game after scoring in double figures every game this season and reaching 20-or-more points in five of six contests. In addition, her 1.5 blocks per outing are tied for 10th while she ranks 14th in both assists (3.5) and steals (1.7) while also contributing 5.8 rebounds per game.
This past week the Baltimore native and University of Louisville product averaged 30 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steal in a pair of road wins at Phoenix and Los Angeles. Her 32 points against the Sparks were just two shy of her career high and equaled the season-best mark she set vs. Connecticut on May 21. The 32-point effort that fueled Atlanta’s 101-82 victory over Los Angeles came two days after she logged 28 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots in a 96-93 win over the Mercury.
Having missed the first eight games of 2009 after giving birth to her daughter Laila, Parker is off to a fast start in 2010. The Naperville, Ill., native is tied with Atlanta’s Erika de Souza for the league lead in both double-doubles (5) and rebounds (11.0 per game), and ranks third overall in scoring with an average of 21.8 points per game. Now in her third season, she also is excelling as a defensive force, leading the league in both blocked shots (2.6 per game) and defensive rebounds (9.2 per game).
Parker’s fourth Player of the Week presented by Kia Motors award of her career came after she led Los Angeles to a 1-1 mark, including the Sparks’ first victory of the season, an 81-75 decision over the visiting Washington Mystics.
While shooting over 60 percent from the floor, the University of Tennessee product logged back-to-back 30-point performances and recorded her fourth and fifth double-doubles in as many outings this season. Her monster game vs. Washington included 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and two steals. Parker followed that up with 33 points, 12 boards, a season-high six blocks and two assists in a defeat at the hands of the visiting Atlanta Dream.
Other candidates for Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors were Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles, Connecticut’s Tina Charles, Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, New York’s Janel McCarville, Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi, San Antonio’s Ruth Riley, Seattle’s Lauren Jackson, Tulsa’s Natasha Lacy and Washington’s Crystal Langhorne.
The Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week presented by Kia Motors are part of a series of on-court performance awards called “The Performance Awards Presented by Kia Motors.” The series, currently in its second season, includes four of the ’s most prestigious year-end honors: Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Sixth Woman of the Year along with the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month. Kia Motors has been an official marketing partner of the since 2008.