LOS ANGELES – Nneka Ogwumike was named to the 2019 All-Defensive First Team, the WNBA announced today. This is the fourth time in five years Ogwumike has received that honor (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019). In 2018, Ogwumke was named to the All-Defensive Second Team. Nneka helped lead the Sparks to a 22-12 record and the team finished third in the WNBA in defensive rating. Individually, Ogwumike finished first overall in the WNBA in defensive rating and tied for second in defensive win shares. In addition, Ogwumike finished 4th in the WNBA in rebounds per game (8.8), third in defensive rebounds (6.5), sixth in rebounding percentage (18%) and fifth in steals (1.88). At 6’2’’ Ogwumike routinely neutralized much taller post players and helped the Sparks have one of the stingiest interior defenses in the league.
2019 WNBA All-Defensive First Team
Natasha Howard, Storm: The two-time All-Defensive First Team selection ranked second in the WNBA in steals (2.18 spg) and third in blocked shots (1.74 bpg).
Jonquel Jones, Sun: The 2018 Sixth Woman of the Year tied for the WNBA lead in blocked shots (2.0 bpg) with Griner en route to her first All-Defensive Team nod. Jones also finished fourth in defensive rebounds with 6.4 per game.
Nneka Ogwumike, Sparks: Ogwumike ranked third in the WNBA in defensive rebounding (6.5 drpg) and fifth in steals (1.88 spg). She was voted to an All-Defensive Team for the fifth straight season and to the First Team for the fourth time (2015-17).
Jasmine Thomas, Sun: This marks the third consecutive All-Defensive First Team honor for Thomas, a top on-ball defender who tied for eighth in steals (1.41 spg). She also made the Second Team in 2016.
Jordin Canada, Storm:The league leader in steals (2.27 spg) was selected to her first All-Defensive Team in only her second WNBA season.
2019 WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
Brittney Griner, Mercury: This is the sixth consecutive All-Defensive Team selection for Griner, who was the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015. Griner tied for the WNBA lead in blocks (2.0 bpg) after leading the category outright in each of her previous six seasons.
Ariel Atkins, Mystics: Atkins has earned All-Defensive Second Team honors in both of her WNBA seasons. She finished sixth in the WNBA in steals with 1.45 per game this season.
Alysha Clark, Storm: Clark makes her All-Defensive Team debut in her eighth WNBA season after helping the Storm allow a league-low 75.1 points per game.
Alyssa Thomas, Sun: Thomas finished third in the WNBA in steals (1.94 spg) en route to her second All-Defensive Team selection (2017). She also tied for 11thin total defensive rebounds (181).
Natasha Cloud, Mystics: Selected to her first All-Defensive Team in her fifth WNBA season, Cloud contributed 1.03 steals and 2.3 defensive rebounds per game for league-leading Washington.