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.
Below are the voting results for the 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player presented by Samsung and a list of past recipients:
2016 WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER PRESENTED BY SAMSUNG VOTING RESULTS
Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total Points
Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles 31 6 2 — — 362
Tina Charles, New York 8 17 13 1 — 267
Maya Moore, Minnesota — 11 19 8 1 197
Elena Delle Donne, Chicago — 5 3 20 9 119
Candace Parker, Los Angeles — — — 6 12 30
Breanna Stewart, Seattle — — 1 3 10 24
Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta — — 1 1 3 11
Tamika Catchings, Indiana — — — 1 1 4
Sue Bird, Seattle — — — — 1 1
Diana Taurasi, Phoenix — — — — 1 1
ALL-TIME WNBA MOST VALUABLE PLAYER PRESENTED BY SAMSUNG WINNERS
Year Player Team
2016 Nneka Ogwumike Los Angeles Sparks
2015 Elena Delle Donne Chicago Sky
2014 Maya Moore Minnesota Lynx
2013 Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks
2012 Tina Charles Connecticut Sun
2011 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
2010 Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
2009 Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury
2008 Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks
2007 Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
2006 Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks
2005 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
2004 Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks
2003 Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
2002 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
2001 Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks
2000 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
1999 Yolanda Griffith Sacramento Monarchs
1998 Cynthia Cooper Houston Comets
1997 Cynthia Cooper Houston Comets