NEW YORK, N.Y. – After missing the last two seasons with injuries, Duke alumnae Alana Beard was named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team on Friday, which was announced by league officials. Beard was selected by a panel of the WNBA’s 12 head coaches.
Along with Beard on the first team include Tamika Catchings, Syliva Fowles, Briann January and Sancho Lyttle. Members of the second team were Sophia Young, Tina Charles, Armintie Price, Danielle Robinson and Candace Parker.
Beard, who was a 2004 Duke graduate and former National Player of the Year with the Blue Devils, led Los Angeles to a 24-10 record during the regular season, which placed the Sparks in second place in the Western Conference. On the season, Beard has averaged 11.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals in 33 games.
In the league, she ranks 11th in minutes played (1017.0), sixth in steals per game (2.0), 13th in minutes per game (30.8) and 15th in assists per game (3.4). The Sparks opened the 2012 WNBA playoffs on Thursday with a 93-86 victory over San Antonio. Beard contributed 18 points, three assists and two steals in 36 minutes.