Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker has won the WNBA MVP, said a person familiar with the situation.
Parker, a star player at Naperville Central and the University of Tennessee, will receive the award Thursday night in Los Angeles before the Sparks play the Phoenix Mercury in the opener of their Western Conference playoff series, the person said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made, but the league has called a news conference before the Sparks-Mercury game.
WNBA MVP honorsAccording to an AP source, Naperville's Candace Parker has won her second league MVP honor in her pro career.
2013: Candace Parker, L.A.
2012: Tina Charles, Connecticut
2011: Tamika Catchings, Indiana
2010: Lauren Jackson, Seattle
2009: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix
2008: Candace Parker, L.A.
2007: Lauren Jackson, Seattle
2006: Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles
2005: Sheryl Swoopes, Houston
2004: Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles
2003: Lauren Jackson, Seattle
2002: Sheryl Swoopes, Houston
2001: Lisa Leslie, Los Angeles
2000: Sheryl Swoopes, Houston
1999: Y. Griffith, Sacramento
1998: Cynthia Cooper, Houston
1997: Cynthia Cooper, Houston
Parker edged out Minnesota's Maya Moore and Chicago's Elena Delle Donne in one of the closest ballots in league history, the person told the AP. Parker finished with 234 points, Moore had 218 and Delle Donne 189. It's the closest the top two players have been in the voting since Sheryl Swoopes edged Lauren Jackson by two points in 2005.
Parker and Moore each received 10 first place votes from the 39-member national media panel.
The 27-year-old Parker averaged 17.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists in helping the Sparks (24-10) finish second in the Western Conference. Delle Donne averaged 18.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.8 apg in leading the Sky to its first postseason appearance and best record (24-10).
It's the second MVP award for Parker, who also won it her rookie year (2008). Parker also won the 2013 All-Star game MVP in July. She was runner-up to Tina Charles last season for the league MVP award.
Parker, who is still looking for her first WNBA championship, is the fifth player to earn multiple MVP awards, joining Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Swoopes and Cynthia Cooper.