What a day for the Connecticut Sun.

Three Sun players received awards from the WNBA and the franchise learned the 2013 all-star will be played at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

I'd call that a sweep of major proportions.

The award winners:

* Center Tina Charles was named the league's MVP.

* Point guard Renee Montgomery got the Sixth Woman of the Year award

* Kara Lawson, who starts ahead of Montgomery, was given the league's sportsmanship award.

The details:


Charles received 25 of a possible 41 first-place votes from sportswriters and broadcasters across the country, including mine. She had 345 total points.

LA forward Candace Parker was a distant second with seven first-place votes and 253 votes. Next was Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, last year's winner, with seven first-place votes and 210 points.

Two Lynx teammates were fourth and fifth. Forward Maya Moore had 128 points, Seimone Augustus 42.

Voters had to pick a top five. Moore was second on my ballot behind Charles, followed by Parker, Catchings and Cappie Pondexter of New York.

Charles, in her third pro season, averaged a franchise-high 18 points and a league-leading 10.5 rebounds per game. She had 18 double-doubles, tying Parker for the most in the league.

Charles also shot a career-high 49.9 percent from the field. For being named the MVP, Charles will receive $15,000 and a trophy.

The Sun were 25-9 this season -- only the Lynx had a better record -- and won the Eastern Conference title.

The MVP voting

Points Player Team
345 Tina Charles Connecticut Sun
253 Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks
210 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
128 Maya Moore Minnesota Lynx
42 Seimone Augustus Minnesota Lynx
27 Angel McCoughtry Atlanta Dream
23 Cappie Pondexter New York Liberty
18 Sophia Young San Antonio Silver Stars
10 Sue Bird Seattle Storm
10 Sylvia Fowles Chicago Sky
7 Lindsey Harding Atlanta Dream
7 Kristi Toliver Los Angeles Sparks
2 Kara Lawson Connecticut Sun
1 DeWanna Bonner Phoenix Mercury
1 Epiphanny Prince Chicago Sky
1 Lindsay Whalen Minnesota Lynx

Past winners

2011 Tamika Catchings Indiana Fever
2010 Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
2009 Diana Taurasi Phoenix Mercury
2008 Candace Parker Los Angeles Sparks
2007 Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
2006 Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks
2005 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
2004 Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks
2003 Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm
2002 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
2001 Lisa Leslie Los Angeles Sparks
2000 Sheryl Swoopes Houston Comets
1999 Yolanda Griffith Sacramento Monarchs
1998 Cynthia Cooper Houston Comets
1997 Cynthia Cooper Houston Comets


Montgomery, a former Lynx, averaged 11.6 points and 3.4 assists for the Connecticut Sun this season. She ranked second on the Sun in three-point shooting at 36.4 percent, assists, 2.6 per game, and blocks at 0.9 per game.

The Lynx took Montgomery with the fourth overall pick in the 2009 out of UConn. She played in Minnesota for one season before being traded to the Sun in the Lindsay Whalen deal.

Montgomery received 23 of a possible 41 first-place votes from sportswriters and and broadcasters across the country. As the winner she received $5,000 and a trophy from Tiffany & Co.

Montgomery, who was replaced in the Sun starting lineup by Kara Lawson this season, still scored in double figures 23 times this season.

Forward Danielle Adams of San Antonio was second with nine votes and teammate Jia Perkins was third with six.

Three players received one vote, including Lynx guard Monica Wright.

I voted for Adams. Voters could vote for just one player. If I could have voted for two players, Montgomery would have received my second vote.

Forward DeWanna Bonner of Phoenix had won this award the past three seasons, but was not eligible for it this year. Why? Because she started for the injury-riddled Mercury.

The first two Sixth Women of the Year were Plenette Pierson of Detroit in 2007 and Candice Wiggins of the Lynx in 2008.


 Lawson received 18 of a possible 41 first-place votes and was a runaway winner of the league's sportsmanship. She also received it in 2009 when she played for the Sacramento Monarchs.

Lawson has been heavily involved in raising funds for Alzheimer's reseach since Pat Summitt, her college coach at Tennessee, was diagnosed with early dementia. She pledged $50 for each three-pointer she made this season to the Pat Summitt Foundation and the Sun and their arena matched her donation.

She made a franchise record 74 threes during the regular season.

Lawson is averaging 15.1 points, 4.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds this season, all career highs.

Each team nominated one player for this award.

Second in the voting was Becky Hammon of San Antonio with five votes, Alana Beard of Los Angeles and DeWanna Bonner of Phoenix had three votes apiece, and Rebekkah Brunson of the Lynx was among four players with two votes. Three received one vote.

Sue Bird of Seattle and Ruth Riley of San Antonio shared this award last season. The only Lynx player to ever win it was Teresa Edwards in 2004.

Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin won it in 2005 when she played for the Sun.