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updated: 10/17/2012 2:39 PM

MVP Charles leads 2012 WNBA first team

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  • Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings (24), a former state champion at Stevenson High School, was voted to the All-WNBA first team for the 2012 season. It marks the seventh time that Catchings has earned the honor.

      Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings (24), a former state champion at Stevenson High School, was voted to the All-WNBA first team for the 2012 season. It marks the seventh time that Catchings has earned the honor.
    Associated Press

 
By Daily Herald News Services

NEW YORK -- Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles, the 2012 Most Valuable Player, headlines the 2012 All-WNBA First-Team, league officials announced Wednesday.

Three stars with Chicago connections -- Candace Parker (Naperville Central), Tamika Catchings (Stevenson) and Cappie Pondexter (Chicago Marshall) also made the first-tem list, along with Minnesota's Seimone Augustus.

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For the second year in a row, Sky center Sylvia Fowles was voted to the second team.

Charles led all vote-getters with 196 points, followed by Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks (176) and Catchings of the Indiana Fever (161).

Voting for the All-WNBA first- and second-teams was conducted by a panel of 41 national and local sports writers and broadcasters at the conclusion of the regular season. Players were selected by position and received five points for each first-team vote and three points for each second-team designation.

For Catchings, who has her Indiana team in the finals against the Minnesota Lynx, it represents her seventh first-team honor. It is the third such honor for Pondexter (2009, 2010), and the second for both Charles (2011) and Parker (2008). The 33-year-old Catchings is seeking to win her first WNBA title.

Charles, who earned All-WNBA First-Team acclaim in 2011 and Second-Team honors in 2010, finished the 2012 campaign with her third consecutive WNBA rebounding title (10.5 rpg). She also set a new Connecticut single-season scoring record, averaging 18 points. In the process, Charles guided the Sun to the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 25-9 record, the league's second best mark behind the defending champion Lynx (27-7).

Catchings, the WNBA's Most Valuable Player a year ago, this season extended her own league record for WNBA Defensive Player of the Year honor, winning the award for a fifth time. Catchings led the current Fever squad to a 22-12 mark in the regular season, averaging 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 2.1 steals.

Parker was the runner-up to Charles as the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player award as she led Los Angeles back to the playoffs, where the Sparks reached the Western Conference Finals. Parker finished the regular season ranked first in the league in blocks (2.3 bpg), tied for first in double-doubles (18, along with Charles), third in rebounds (9.7 rpg), and seventh in scoring (17.4 ppg).

On the second team were Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore (102 points) and Sky center Sylvia Fowles (95 points), Los Angeles Sparks guard Kristi Toliver (91), Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen (88), and San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young (67).

Toliver, the third overall draft pick in 2009, played one season for the Sky before being traded to Los Angeles.

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