Sparks' Ogwumike and Ross earn WNBA honors

Sparks' Ogwumike and Ross earn WNBA honors
October 7, 2012, 7:24 pm
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Minnesota Lynx's Seimone Augustus, right, looks to pass as she is defended by Los Angeles Sparks' Nneka Ogwumike in Game 2 of the WNBA basketball Western Conference Finals in Los Angeles, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. The Lynx won 80-79. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(APWF)

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Sparks collected two of the WNBA's season-ending awards, with Nneka Ogwumike honored as rookie of the year and Carol Ross chosen coach of the year on Sunday.

The awards were announced before the Sparks lost to the Minnesota Lynx 80-79 and got swept 2-0 in the Western Conference finals at Staples Center.

Ogwumike averaged 14 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists during the regular season. She was drafted No. 1 overall out of Stanford by the Sparks.

``I was really excited,'' she said, having kept the secret for a few days.

``It's an honor, but I think it's also a reflection of our team success. Individual awards don't come without team success, so I think that that showed, especially with some of the other accolades that my teammates got. It's reflective of how hard we worked.''

Ross, in her first season with the Sparks, guided them to a 24-10 regular-season record, including a 16-1 mark at Staples Center. She previously was an assistant with the Atlanta Dream and coached 16 years at Florida and Mississippi.

``I don't feel like the coach of the year,'' she said. ``I'm coming off two losses.''

Candace Parker of the Sparks was runner-up for league MVP honors to Connecticut's Tina Charles last month.