Candace Parker Named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year

Parker Also Named to the AP’s All-WNBA First Team
The Associated Press announced today that a panel of 16 national media voters named Candace Parker the 2020 AP Defensive Player of the Year. She was also named to the AP’s All-WNBA First Team. In her 13th season in the league, Parker led the WNBA in rebounding for the third time in her career, averaging 9.7 per game. She grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 12 out of 22 games and was tied for first in the WNBA with 10 double-doubles. For the season, Parker averaged 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds per game, and 4.6 assists per game, while shooting 51% from the field and 39.6% on 3-pointers. She’s the first player in WNBA history to average over 14 points, nine rebounds, and four assists while shooting over 50% from the field, per Across the Timeline.
Parker was a force on the defensive end all season, using her athleticism and verticality to force the opposition into difficult, contested shots around the rim. She was fifth in the WNBA in total blocks (27) on the season, first in defensive rebounds (177) and first in total rebounds (214). She anchored a Sparks defense that finished third in the league in Defensive Rating and she personally finished third in defensive win shares and fourth in defensive rating, per Basketball Reference.
The Sparks play their second-round playoff game on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPN2. The WNBA’s official End of Season Awards, including Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-WNBA, have not yet been announced.