Los Angeles, CA (August 30, 2018) – The WNBA announced today that Los Angeles Sparks guard/forward Alana Beard won the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year Award for the second straight season. The 36-year-old Beard becomes the fifth player in WNBA history to win the award in consecutive seasons and is one of just 10 players to win the award in the league’s 22-year history. Even more impressive, Beard is the only perimeter player to win the award this decade. Beard received 16 of the 39 votes from the media panel, followed by Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx who finished second with nine votes.
Beard anchored a Sparks defense that finished first in points allowed (77.0 points per game), second in defensive rating (98.7 points per 100 possessions) and first in steals per game (7.94). Individually, Beard finished fourth in the WNBA in both steals per game (1.47) and steal percentage, per Basketball Reference. Beard routinely limited her opponents to season-lows in scoring and shooting percentage and is regarded by her peers as the best defensive player in the league.
Beard is the second Sparks player to win Defensive Player of the Year as Lisa Leslie won the award in 2004 and 2008. Beard is a four-time All-Star, a 2016 WNBA Champion and now a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.