NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2016 – New York Liberty forward Tina Charles has won the 2016 WNBA Peak Performer Award as the league leader in scoring and rebounding, and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird has won the Peak Performer Award as the league leader in assists, the WNBA announced today.
The WNBA presents the Peak Performer Awards annually to the players who lead the league in each of those categories during the regular season. Each winner will receive a trophy crafted by Tiffany & Co. in honor of her accomplishments.
Charles topped the WNBA with 21.5 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, joining Chamique Holdsclaw (2002) and Lauren Jackson (2007) as the only players to lead the WNBA in both categories in the same season. The 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player also recorded a WNBA-high 20 double-doubles this season, including 19 with points and rebounds and one with points and assists.
Charles, who earned a WNBA-record seven Player of the Week honors this season and captured all four Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung awards, edged the Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne (21.46 ppg) for her first scoring title. Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks ranked third (19.7 ppg), Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream was fourth (19.5) and Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx was fifth (19.3).
The rebounding title is the fourth for Charles, who also led the WNBA from 2010-12. Charles was followed by Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm (9.3 rpg), Ogwumike (9.1), Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx (8.5) and Elizabeth Williams of the Dream (8.1).
As a scorer, Charles tallied a league-high 21 games with at least 20 points, including one streak of nine such games from June 11 through July 3. The stretch included a career-high-tying 32 points at Connecticut on June 16 and 31 points at Phoenix on July 1. Charles also scored at least 22 points in each of her final six games of the season.
Charles recorded 317 total rebounds (tied with Stewart for the most in the WNBA), including 243 on the defensive glass and 74 on the offensive end. The seven-year pro from the University of Connecticut grabbed at least 15 rebounds three times, including a season-high 16 against the Sparks on May 21. She also had 15 rebounds on June 19 at the Indiana Fever and again on Sept. 3 against the Phoenix Mercury.
Bird, a member of the WNBA Top 20@20 presented by Verizon and a nine-time WNBA All-Star selection, won her third assists title (5.8 per game). The four-time Olympic gold medalist also led the league in assists in 2005 and 2009. Jasmine Thomas of the Connecticut Sun ranked second (5.1 apg) and Candace Parker of the Sparks finished third (4.9), followed by Courtney Vandersloot of the Sky (4.70) and Briann January of the Fever (4.68).