Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA MVP, Posts Fifth-Highest Scoring Average Ever
Chicago Sky guard/forward Elena Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Samsung, Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot, and Tulsa Shock center Courtney Paris have won the 2015 WNBA Peak Performer Awards for scoring, assists, and rebounding, respectively, the WNBA announced Thursday.
The WNBA presents the Peak Performer Awards annually to the players who lead the league in each of those categories during the regular season. Each player will receive a trophy crafted by Tiffany & Co. in honor of her accomplishments.
Delle Donne, a third-year pro, earned her first scoring title with an average of 23.4 points per game, the fifth-highest mark in WNBA history and nearly three points better than that of this year’s second-place finisher, 2014 scoring champion Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx (20.6 ppg). The only players to surpass Delle Donne’s scoring average in a season are Diana Taurasi (25.3 ppg in 2006 and 24.1 ppg in 2008 with the Phoenix Mercury), Moore (23.9 ppg for Minnesota last year), and Lauren Jackson (23.8 ppg with the Seattle Storm in 2007).
The University of Delaware product opened the season by averaging 28.7 points in June, a WNBA record for the first 10 games of a season (Cappie Pondexter, now Delle Donne’s teammate with Chicago, held the previous mark of 25.7 points with the Mercury in 2008). Delle Donne’s June highlights included a career-high 45 points against the Atlanta Dream on June 24, the sixth-best scoring performance in league history.
The second overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, Delle Donne recorded at least 40 points twice, 30 points five times, and 20 points 21 times. She also shot a WNBA-best 95.0 percent (207-for-218) from the free throw line.
Vandersloot, a five-year WNBA veteran, won her first assists title with 5.8 per game. Seattle’s Sue Bird, the 2005 and 2009 assists leader, finished second (5.4 apg), and Danielle Robinson of the San Antonio Stars was third (5.0 apg). Vandersloot also led the league in total assists with 198 over 34 games, 49 more assists than Robinson’s second-place tally of 149.
Delle Donne, Vandersloot, and their Chicago teammates are set to open the WNBA Playoffs presented by Boost Mobile as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Tulsa’s Paris, a six-year pro, earned the rebounding crown for the second straight season. Her average of 9.3 rebounds in 34 games was the second-highest figure of her career, behind only the 10.2 boards from last season, when she more than doubled her previous best of 4.1. Three-time rebounding champion Tina Charles of the New York Liberty ranked second (8.5 rpg), just ahead of Delle Donne (8.4 rpg).
Paris recorded 317 total rebounds – a career-best 215 on the defensive glass and 102 on the offensive end. She reached double figures in rebounds in 14 games, highlighted by two career-high 19-rebound efforts, first at San Antonio on June 14 and then against the Washington Mystics on July 21.