NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2017 – Top performers from the 2017 regular season are being honored this month with end-of-season awards, including Defensive Player of the Year (Alana Beard), Sixth Woman of the Year (Sugar Rodgers), Most Improved Player (Jonquel Jones), and Coach & Basketball Executive of the Year (Curt Miller).
New York Liberty guard Sugar Rodgers has been named the 2017 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, the WNBA announced today. The fifth-year guard earned the award as the league’s top reserve for the first time.
The 26-year-old Rodgers received 15 votes from a national panel of 40 sportswriters and broadcasters. Minnesota Lynx guard Renee Montgomery was second with 12 votes and Washington Mystics guard Ivory Latta finished third with four votes.
Behind Rodgers and fellow All-Star Tina Charles, New York posted a 22-12 record after becoming the first team in WNBA history to close out the regular season with 10 straight victories. As the No. 3 seed in the WNBA Playoffs 2017 presented by Verizon, the Liberty will host the Mystics in a second-round, single-elimination game today at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Rodgers’ season was highlighted by her first selection to the Verizon WNBA All-Star Game. The former Georgetown University star averaged 10.5 points, 2.3 assists and a career-high 3.9 rebounds per game this season. She finished sixth in the league in made three-pointers, connecting on 34.2 percent (63-of-184) from beyond the arc.
Coming off the bench in each of the final 17 games, the 5-9 guard scored in double figures seven times and recorded at least four rebounds nine times. She was a key contributor in the Liberty’s 10-game winning streak, particularly on the defensive end as New York limited opponents to just 68.1 points per game in that span.
Rodgers was selected by Minnesota in the second round of the 2013 WNBA Draft and acquired by the Liberty in a trade in 2014. Last season, she finished third in voting for the WNBA Most Improved Player award.
To be eligible for the award, players had to have come off the bench in more games than they started. Rodgers came off the bench in 18 of her 33 games this season.