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Leslie, Mabika on All-League Team

September 01, 2002|Mike Terry

Lisa Leslie and Mwadi Mabika of the Sparks were named to the All-WNBA first team Saturday. Also voted onto the first team were Seattle's Sue Bird, Indiana's Tamika Catchings and Houston's Sheryl Swoopes.

Voted to the second team were Chamique Holdsclaw of Washington, Tina Thompson of Houston, Tari Phillips of New York, Shannon Johnson of Orlando and Katie Smith of Minnesota.

Both teams were introduced before Game 2 of the WNBA Finals between the Sparks and the New York Liberty at Staples Center.

It was the fourth selection for Leslie, the first for Mabika. It is the first time two rookies--Catchings and Bird--were named to the first team.

"I'm so happy," said Mabika, who averaged a career-high 16.8 points. "I'm grateful people recognized I can play. I put a lot of work into my game, and I'm ready to keep it going."

Leslie, who averaged 16.9 points, became the first WNBA player to dunk in a game and went over 3,000 career points.

"I'm very proud of her," Leslie said of Mabika. "She's the real deal; not only did she score, she made big shots to win games."

First-team honorees were presented $10,000, and second-team selections received $5,000.

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