Candice Wiggins Named WNBA Sixth Woman Of The Year
Sept. 25, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The WNBA today announced that Minnesota Lynx guard and former Stanford standout Candice Wiggins has been named the 2008 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year. Wiggins received 27 of a possible 45 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters to win the award.
The WNBA today announced that Minnesota Lynx guard Candice Wiggins has been named the 2008 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year. Wiggins received 27 of a possible 45 votes from a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters to win the award.Added to the list of postseason awards in 2007, the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year Award is given to the league's most valuable player for her team coming off the bench as a substitute. To be eligible for the award, a player must come off of the bench in more games than she starts.
'It is a tremendous honor for me to receive the Sixth Woman of the Year award,' Wiggins said. 'It shows that you can make an impact on a team no matter if you start or if you don't. I feel like I have great support of my coaches and teammates that made the transition from Stanford to the WNBA a lot easier. When Coach Zierden told me that I was going to come off the bench this season, I embraced that challenge. I thought that if I was going to come off the bench, I was going to do everything I could to make an impact. It is an honor to be recognized for that.'
After winning the award in 2007, Detroit Shock forward Plenette Pierson finished second in the voting with 10 votes, followed by two votes for Seattle Storm guard Tanisha Wright, and one vote each for Detroit Shock center Kara Braxton, Connecticut Sun guard/forward Barbara Turner, and New York Liberty forward Tiffany Jackson.Selected with the third overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, Wiggins came off the bench in 29 of the 30 games in which she played, scoring 20 points or more seven times to eclipse Chamique Holdsclaw's single-season WNBA mark for 20-point performances by a reserve (six in 2006). They're also the top seven single-game bench scoring totals in franchise history.
Thanks in large part to her efforts, the Lynx set a WNBA record by receiving an average of 33.9 ppg from their reserves, bettering the previous mark of 33.4 ppg set by Sacramento in 2006. Individually, Wiggins tallied an average of 15.8 ppg in her 29 bench appearances, breaking Holdsclaw's WNBA record of 15.0 ppg for Los Angeles in 2006.
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Wiggins registered a season-high 27 points July 17 at Houston (one of seven times she led Minnesota in scoring), dished a season-best 12 assists in the May 31 victory over Phoenix and pulled down a season-high eight rebounds at Detroit on June 20. She swiped 3+ steals on eight occasions, highlighted by a six-steal effort in her lone start of the year (June 28 at San Antonio).
On the season, Wiggins ranked among the WNBA's top 20 in scoring (15th, 15.7 ppg), assists (20th, 3.0 apg), FT accuracy (20th, 81.7%) and steals (7th, 1.80 spg). Among rookies, she finished in the top three in seven of the league's nine major categories, including 2nd in scoring and 3rd in assists, and was named the Hanns-G `Go Beyond' Rookie of the Month for June after tallying 18.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 3.4 apg in 11 contests.
'I am very pleased that the media has recognized Candice for her accomplishments this season,' said Lynx Head Coach Don Zierden. 'When we first sat Candice down at the beginning of the year and told her that we thought it would be better for her to come off the bench, she was great with it. She did some wonderful things for us coming off the bench. She gave us that energy, that spark, that teams rely on from their bench players in order to be successful. I am happy for her that she is awarded for accepting and playing that role to the best of her ability.'
Wiggins is the fourth NBA/WNBA player with Minnesota ties to win the Sixth Man/Woman award. Minnesota Timberwolves Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale, a former University of Minnesota standout, is the first player in NBA history to win the Sixth Man Award in two consecutive seasons (83-84 and 84-85 with the Boston Celtics) and is one of three men to win the award twice. Another former University of Minnesota star, Bobby Jackson, also won the NBA's Sixth Man Award after the 2002-03 season. Also, one of the newest additions to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster, Mike Miller, who was acquired on June 26, 2008, won the award in 2005-06 as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Wiggins is also the first basketball player from Stanford to win the Sixth Man/Woman Award.