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Sky's Delle Donne, Fowles get some hardware

Forward is unanimous rookie of year choice, while center named defensive player of year

By Philip Hersh, Chicago Tribune reporter

4:25 PM CDT, September 20, 2013

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The WNBA announced Friday that the Sky's Sylvia Fowles has won the league's defensive player of the year award and teammate Elena Delle Donne is the rookie of the year.

Both were heavily favored for the awards, given their performances this year.

Fowles, a sixth-year center who also won the defensive award in 2011, led the league in rebounding and field-goal percentage and was second to Phoenix rookie Brittney Griner in blocked shots.

Delle Donne, named rookie of the month in all four selections this season, led the league in free-throw percentage and was fourth in scoring (first among rookies). She is the second Sky player chosen rookie of the year, after Armintie Price in 2007.

Delle Donne was a unanimous rookie of the year choice of the 39 media voters, while Fowles received 21 of the 39 votes as top defensive player.

Five-time defensive player of the year winner Tamika Catchings of the Fever, the Sky's opening-round playoff opponent, was second to Fowles with 16 firsts.  Fowles and Catchings were joined by Angel McCoughtry of Atlanta, Armintie Herrington of Atlanta and Tanisha Wright of Seattle as WNBA first team all-defensive players.

Delle Donne and Fowles also finished 3-4, respectively, behind winner Candace Parker for the Most Valuable Player award, presented Thursday.

This is the second MVP trophy for Parker, 27, a Naperville Central product who had won after her rookie season in 2008. This one also was worth $15,000 in prize money.

Forward Maya Moore of Minnesota tied Parker with 10 first-place votes and was second overall in voting.

Parker, 27, led the Sparks to a 24-10 record and the Western Conference's No. 2 seed. She ranked fourth in blocks (1.84 per game), sixth in scoring (17.9), seventh in rebounding (8.7) and double-doubles (eight) and 12th in assists (career-high 3.8).

Parker received 234 points in a ballot awarding 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

Moore had 218 points, while Delle Donne had 189 (seven first places). Fowles had 109 (six), and Atlanta Dream forward/guard Angel McCoughtry was fifth. (90-2).