September 19, 2008 – As expected, Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie was named the 2008 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year.
After sitting out the 2007 season due to the birth of her first child, Leslie returned to the Sparks to drastically improve the team defense from a year ago. The team center led the WNBA in both total blocks (97) and blocks per game (2.94). Leslie, an 11-year veteran, has consistently been adept at swiping the ball from opponents as she ranks sixth in league history in steals (276).
In other post-season awards, Indiana Fever forward Ebony Hoffman has been named the 2008 WNBA Most Improved Player.
Heading into the season, Hoffman had never scored more than 16 points in a game. In 2008, she scored 20 or more points three times, including a career-high 26 in triple overtime at New York.
What are the awards worth? For the honors, Leslie and Hoffman will each receive a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co and $5,000.