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Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike to receive WNBA’s sportsmanship award

Nneka Ogwumike
Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike will receive the WNBA’s 2019 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award on Sunday at Staples Center.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike will be presented with the 2019 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award on Sunday before her team’s second-round playoff game against the Seattle Storm at Staples Center.

She will be the first Sparks player to receive the honor since Haixia Zheng in 1997, the league’s inaugural season.

Ogwumike received seven votes from a national panel of 43 sportswriters and broadcasters. Connecticut’s Jasmine Thomas and Atlanta’s Elizabeth Williams got six votes each, followed by Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson with five. Sparks guard Chelsea Gray received one vote.

Selected No. 1 overall by the Sparks in the 2012 draft, Ogwumike went on to be named the WNBA rookie of the year. A six-time All Star, Ogwumike was selected as the league’s MVP in 2016 and led the Sparks to the WNBA championship the same season.

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Ogwumike also was the recipient the 2018 Seasonlong WNBA Community Assist Award.

The sportsmanship award is given to a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanshp on the court. It is named for Kim Perrot, who helped the Houston Comets win WNBA championships in 1997 and 1998 before her August 1999 death after a seven-month battle with cancer.


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