Special to the Daily World
NEW YORK – Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles has been named the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Boost Mobile, the WNBA announced recently.
In her third season, all with the Sun, Charles captured her first Most Valuable Player presented award after finishing second in 2011 and seventh in 2010 when she was named the league's Rookie of the Year.
In addition, Connecticut guard Renee Montgomery is the winner of the 2012 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, the league also announced. The honor marked the first time in four seasons in the league that Montgomery was named the league's top Sixth Woman.
In 34 games this season, Montgomery averaged 11.6 points, 3.4 assists and shot .848 from the free throw line. Known for her energetic play, she also ranked second on the Sun squad in three categories – three point percentage, assists and blocks.
In addition, Connecticut guard Kara Lawson was named the recipient of the 2012 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Designed to honor a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship – ethical behavior, fair play and integrity – the award is named for the late Kim Perrot, who helped guide the Houston Comets to their first two WNBA championships, before passing away in August 1999, after a seven-month battle with cancer.
Not to be upstaged, Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year for the fifth time in her career. Catchings previously won the award in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Catchings beat out two Atlanta Dream players – guard Angel McCoughtry and forward Sancho Lyttle among others to capture the honor. In her 12th season, she finished first in the East and second overall in scoring among forwards, and third in the conference in field goals made. She led Indiana in rebounds, defensive rebounds, double-doubles, steals and blocks.