SPARKS’ NNEKA OGWUMIKE NAMED WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Nneka Ogwumike making her way to basket during the Phoenix Mercury vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca on September 13, 2016. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)
Nneka Ogwumike making her way to basket during the Phoenix Mercury vs Los Angeles Sparks game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca on September 13, 2016. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)
SPARKS’ NNEKA OGWUMIKE NAMED
2016 WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER PRESENTED BY SAMSUNG

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2016 – Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike has been named the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Samsung, the league announced today.  The fifth-year forward earned her first MVP award and became the eighth different player in the last eight years to win the honor.  She is the third winner for the Sparks, joining teammate Candace Parker (2008, 2013) and Lisa Leslie (2001, 2004, 2006).

Ogwumike (362 points) received 31 of 39 first-place votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.  Tina Charles of the New York Liberty received the other eight first-place votes and finished second with 267 points, followed by Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx (197 points), Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky (119 points) and Parker (30 points).  Players were awarded 10 points for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, five points for a third-place vote, three points for a fourth-place vote and one point for a fifth-place vote.

Behind Ogwumike, Los Angeles went 26-8 and earned the No. 2 seed in the 2016 WNBA Playoffs presented by Verizon.  The Sparks won their first 11 games, the second-longest winning streak to open a season in WNBA history, and their 20-1 record through 21 games equaled the best one-loss start ever.  Los Angeles hosts Chicago in Game 1 of the WNBA Semifinals on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Ogwumike shot a WNBA-best 66.5 percent from the field this season, the second-highest mark of all time, and set league records for consecutive field goals made (23) and most field goals in a game without a miss (12, against the Dallas Wings on June 11).  She also ranked third in the league in scoring (career-high 19.7 ppg) and rebounding (career-high 9.1 rpg) and recorded the second-most double-doubles (18).  The former Stanford University standout added career highs in assists (3.1 apg) and blocks (1.2 bpg) to go with 1.3 steals in 33 games.

A three-time WNBA All-Star and the 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year presented by Samsung, Ogwumike was named Western Conference Player of the Week six times and Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung twice this season.

This year marks the third season that Samsung, an official WNBA marketing partner, is serving as the presenting partner of the WNBA’s highest individual honors.  The WNBA Performance Awards presented by Samsung program includes the WNBA Most Valuable Player, WNBA Most Improved Player, WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, WNBA Rookie of the Year and the WNBA Players of the Month and Rookie of the Month awards.

In honor of being named the WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Samsung, Ogwumike will receive $15,000 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany & Co. adidas is commemorating Ogwumike’s MVP win with exclusive t-shirts available tomorrow on WNBAStore.com.

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), is a recognized innovative leader in consumer electronics, mobile devices and enterprise solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA is pushing beyond the limits of today’s technology and providing consumers and organizations with a portfolio of groundbreaking products in appliances, home entertainment, Internet of Things, mobile computing, smartphones, virtual reality, wireless infrastructure and wearables, in addition to offering leading content and services related to mobile payments, 360-degree VR video, customer support and more. Samsung is a pioneering leader in smartphones and HDTVs in the U.S. and one of America’s fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more about Samsung, please visit www.samsung.com. For the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow us @SamsungNewsUS.

 About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com.

 About the WNBA

The WNBA, which features 12 teams, is a unique global sports property combining competition, sportsmanship, and entertainment with its status as an icon for social change, achievement, and diversity.  The league, which counts Verizon as its leaguewide marquee partner, concluded its 20th regular season on Sept. 18, 2016.

 Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women’s health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education.  For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.