Phoenix's Diana Taurasi named 2004 WNBA Rookie of the YearSeptember 27, 2004 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Other players receiving votes were Washingtons Alana Beard (4) and Minnesotas Nicole Ohlde (2).
Taurasi becomes the second WNBA player to be selected first overall in the WNBA Draft and win the Rookie of the Year Award in the same season, the first was Chamique Holdsclaw in 1999. The most decorated college player coming into the 2004 WNBA season, Taurasi was a two-time Naismith Player of the Year (2003, 2004) and three-time NCAA champion at the University of Connecticut. Taurasi finished the season ranked fourth in the WNBA in points per game (17.0), 10th in assists per game (3.9) and 14th in minutes per game (33.2), while averaging 4.4 rebounds and 1.26 steals.
Among rookies, Taurasi was first in scoring, second in rebounding and assists, third in steals and free-throw percentage (76.0) and fourth in blocked shots (0.74).
In addition to her individual accomplishments, Taurasi helped the Mercury post 17 victories on the season, nine more than in 2003. That improvement ties the fifth best turnaround in WNBA history. Phoenixs 17-17 record was the first time since the 2000 (20-12) season that the team finished at or above the .500 mark.
As the WNBA Rookie of the Year, Taurasi will receive a Tiffany-designed trophy and $5,000.
Below are the complete results of the 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year voting, followed by a list of previous winners:
2004 ROOKIE OF THE YEAR RESULTS
42 Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury
4 Alana Beard Washington Mystics
2 Nicole Ohlde Minnesota Lynx
PREVIOUS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2003 Cheryl Ford Detroit Shock
2002 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
2001 Jackie Stiles Portland Fire
2000 Betty Lennox Minnesota Lynx
1999 Chamique Holdsclaw Washington Mystics
1998 Tracy Reid Charlotte Sting
The 2004 WNBA Playoffs continue tonight as Connecticut host Washington on NBATV at 7:00 p.m. ET and Minnesota travels to Seattle to take on the Storm at 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. ABC, ESPN2, NBA TV and Oxygen provide coverage through the Conference Finals. The 2004 WNBA Finals will be televised exclusively on ESPN2. For more information, go to WNBA.com.
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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from September 27, 2004
- Palmer and Miller named 2004 WNBA Most Improved Players of the Year - WNBA
- Phoenix's Diana Taurasi named 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year - WNBA
- Taurasi Named Rookie of the Year - Phoenix Mercury
- Libertys Patty Coyle fined - WNBA
- Mystics Messenger - Washington Mystics
- Charlotte Sting Season Recap - Charlotte Sting
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