Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike has been named the recipient of the 2021 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, the WNBA announced recently. This is the third straight Sportsmanship Award for Ogwumike, making her the only player to win the award in three consecutive years.
The Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award is presented each season to a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, including ethical behavior, fair play and integrity. The award is named for the late Kim Perrot, who helped guide the Houston Comets to their first two WNBA championships before passing away in August 1999 after a seven-month battle with cancer.
Ogwumike received 19 votes from a national panel of 49 sportswriters and broadcasters. Atlanta Dream center/forward Elizabeth Williams finished second (eight). Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins and Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner (four votes each) tied for third place. Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles, Indiana Fever guard Danielle Robinson and Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson all received three votes. Rounding out the votes were Connecticut Sun guard Briann January (two), Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (one), Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley (one), and New York Liberty guard Sami Whitcomb (one).
A member of the W25, Ogwumike has been an invaluable leader for the WNBA community. Over the last two years, Ogwumike, as President of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, has spearheaded a new and groundbreaking Collective Bargaining Agreement and led much of the league’s social justice efforts. She also previously won the 2018 season-long Community Assist Award for her dedication to community service efforts.
The six-time WNBA All-Star and former Most Valuable Player, Ogwumike led the Sparks with 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 18 games. Ogwumike is a five-time All-WNBA selection and won a championship with the Sparks in 2016. She was also named the 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year, which followed her selection by Los Angeles as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 WNBA Draft.
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