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Sparks star Candace Parker voted to All-WNBA first team

Sparks forward Candace Parker passes the ball.
Sparks forward Candace Parker passes the ball during a game against the Washington Mystics in September.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Candace Parker is one of two unanimous All-WNBA first-team selections, the league announced Sunday, as the league’s defensive player of the year led the group along with MVP A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces.

The first team also included Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot and Dallas Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale. The All-WNBA team was determined by votes from a panel of 47 sportswriters and broadcasters, unlike last week’s all-defensive teams, which were voted on by coaches. Parker was controversially left off the first- and second- all-defensive teams, becoming the first defensive player of the year to not also be voted first-team all-defense in the same season.

Several of the Sparks’ top players, including Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike, are unrestricted free agents, leading to offseason uncertainty.

Parker earned her first All-WNBA first-team honor since 2017, averaging 14.7 points and 4.6 assists while shooting 51% from the field. She led the league in rebounds with 9.7 per game, adding 1.23 blocked shots and 1.18 steals on the defensive end. She finished third in the MVP voting behind Wilson and Stewart. The Sparks finished third in the league, but were knocked out of the playoffs in the second round.

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Diana Taurasi extended her record for most All-WNBA selections to 14 with an appearance on the second team, where she joined Phoenix Mercury teammate Skylar Diggins-Smith, Connecticut Sun forward DeWanna Bonner, Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier and Washington Mystics forward Myisha Hines-Allen.


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