NEW YORK – Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky and Lindsay Whalen of the Minnesota Lynx were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played June 22 through June 28.
For Delle Donne, a two-time All-Star selection and the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year, the Player of the Week award is the eighth of her career and the third in a row to start the 2015 season. The third-year pro led Chicago to a 2-1 record for the week, including wins over Eastern Conference rivals Atlanta and Indiana.
For the second week in a row, Delle Donne led the league in scoring (28.3 ppg) and the Eastern Conference in rebounding (10.7 rpg). For the season, Delle Donne ranks atop the league in scoring at 29.0 ppg. Through nine games, her scoring pace is 8.5 ppg more than the current No. 2 scorer, Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream (20.5 ppg), and 3.7 ppg higher than the WNBA’s single-season record of 25.3 ppg, set by Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi in 2006.
Also for the second straight week, Delle Donne shared the top spot in the WNBA in free throw percentage (1.000), shooting 33-of-33 from the line with more makes and attempts than any other player in the league. Delle Donne also ranked second in the East in blocks (3.3 bpg) and fifth in steals (2.3 spg).
The University of Delaware product has tallied at least 24 points in all but one contest this season. She also has pulled down at least seven rebounds in all but one game. Delle Donne opened the week with back-to-back double-doubles – 45 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks in a 100-96 overtime win vs. Atlanta, along with a 14-point, 14-rebound effort in a win at Indiana. She closed the week by posting 26 points, seven boards, three assists, and two steals in a losing effort at Washington.
Against Atlanta, Delle Donne’s 45 points and six blocks were career highs, and her 19-of-19 effort at the foul line set a league record for most made free throws without a miss in a single game. The 45-point outing was the sixth best in a game in WNBA history, and enabled her to set the mark for most points over any seven-game span in WNBA history (221).
For Whalen, a four-time WNBA All-Star, the Player of the Week honor is the seventh of her career and her first of the season. The two-time league champion (2011, 2013) helped guide the 7-2 Lynx to a pair of wins over Western Conference foes Seattle and defending champion Phoenix, keeping Minnesota within striking distance of conference leader Tulsa (8-1).
For the week, the 12th-year pro ranked second in the Western Conference in scoring (18.5 ppg), fifth in field goal percentage (.536 on 15-of-28 from the field), sixth in minutes (33.8 mpg), and seventh in assists (4.5 apg).
The University of Minnesota product capped her week with a stellar effort in Minnesota’s 71-56 win over Phoenix, pouring in 21 points, grabbing four rebounds, and dishing out three assists to spoil the season debut of Mercury All-Star center Brittney Griner.
Whalen opened the week with a 16-point, six-assist, three-rebound effort in the Lynx’s 76-73 come-from-behind road win over Seattle. With Whalen running the show at the point guard position, Minnesota overcame an 18-point deficit by outscoring Seattle 22-11 in the fourth quarter.
Other candidates for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s McCoughtry, San Antonio’s Kayla McBride, Tulsa’s Skylar Diggins, and Washington’s Emma Meesseman.
For more information on this week’s Players of the Week, visit www.wnba.com/awards.
2015 WNBA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week Ending East Player Team West Player Team
6/14/15 Elena Delle Donne Chicago DeWanna Bonner Phoenix
6/21/15 Elena Delle Donne Chicago Skylar Diggins Tulsa
6/28/15 Elena Delle Donne Chicago Lindsay Whalen Minnesota