The Top 15 Prettiest Faces of the WNBA
I'm in a little bit of a writer's funk, so it's time for my third edition of "Prettiest Faces," with a look at the WNBA.
The LPGA had 10, the WTA had 20, so this one will have 15.
With the preseason just about a month away, let's take a look at the Top 15 who have played at least a season in the league (sorry, rookies).
These ladies aren't just pretty faces, they can play a little ball too, with several appearing on some All-Time WNBA lists.
**All stats and ranks are through the 2008 season.**
15. Erin Buescher
The 6'3" Buescher was selected in the second round (No. 23) by the Minnesota Lynx back in 2001 out of The Master's College.
She has career averages of 6.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.3 apg, with a 45 FG% and has started 65 out of her 184 games in the league.
Buescher won the WNBA's Most Improved Player Award in 2006.
In 2008 with San Antonio, she scored 7.2 ppg, with 3.3 rpg, while shooting 43% from beyond the three-point line.
14. Ticha Penicheiro
Penicheiro, 5'11", was drafted second overall out of Old Dominion by the Sacramento Monarchs in 1998.
She has career averages of 6.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.1 apg and 1.9 spg in her 11 seasons in the WNBA.
Penicheiro started all 33 games for the Monarchs last year and scored 8.6 ppg, with 5.2 apg and shot 81% from the line.
Penicheiro's all-time WNBA ranks:
-655 steals (first)
-2,023 assists (first)
-10,181 minutes (fif th)
-30.0 minutes per game (12th)
13. Ruth Riley
The 6'5" Riley, out of Notre Dame, was the fifth overall pick in 2001 by the now-defunct Miami Sol.
She played limited minutes for San Antonio last year and only started three games, but has averaged 7.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg and 1.5 bpg in her eight-year career.
Riley is known for her shot-blocking abilities, and was named the Vice President of the WNBA Players Union.
Ruth Riley's all-time WNBA ranks:
-393 blocks (fifth)
12. Lindsay Whalen
Whalen, 5'8" out of Minnesota, was the fourth overall pick by the Connecticut Sun in 2004 WNBA Draft.
In her short five-year career, she's averaged 11.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.1 apg, 1.4 spg, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line.
Last year with the Sun, Whalen scored 14.0 ppg, with 5.6 rpg, 5.4 apg, 1.5 spg and played in all 31 games.
She was the first University of Minnesota athlete to have her own bobblehead made and beat out Kevin Garnett and Johan Santana for the Minnesota Sportsman of the Year in 2004.
Lindsay Whalen's all-time WNBA ranks:
-808 assists (15th)
11. Swin Cash
Cash was the second overall pick in 2002 by the Detroit Shock out of the University of Connecticut.
The 6'1" forward averaged 11.3 ppg and 5.4 rpg a season ago.
In seven seasons, Cash averages 12.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.9 apg, and has played in all but three of her 214 career games.
In the off season, Cash works with ESPN as an analyst for the NBA.
Swin Cash's all-time WNBA ranks:
-12.7 ppg (26th)
10. Diana Taurasi
Taurasi was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury.
The 6-foot guard from UConn scored 24.1 ppg last year, while averaging 5.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.4 bpg. She also shot 45 percent from the field and 87 percent from the line.
In five years, Taurasi has an average of 20.3 ppg, shoots 82 percent from the line and has played in all 167 games.
She was the 2004 WNBA Rookie of the Year, is a three-time All-Star and a two-time gold medalist for the USA.
Diana Taurasi's all-time WNBA ranks:
-3,398 points (20th)
-20.3 ppg (third)
9. Sidney Spencer
Spencer is 6'3" from the University of Tennessee, and was a second round pick by the Los Angeles Sparx in 2007.
Last year in L.A., Spencer averaged just 5.3 ppg and 1.9 rpg, but shot 94 percent from the line.
She is a career 7.5 ppg scorer, shoots 90 percent from the line, 44% from the field and 42% from 3-point range.
Sidney Spencer's all-time WNBA ranks:
-42% 3-point shooting (fourth)
8. Maria Stepanova
Stepanova was the No. 8 pick in 1998 by the Phoenix Mercury.
The 6'8" Russian is the second tallest player in the WNBA (7'2" Margo Dydek), and has played five years in the league (1998-2001, 2005).
She has averaged 7.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 1.6 bpg during her playing career in the WNBA and is a two-time bronze medalist for Russia.
Maria Stepanova's all-time WNBA ranks:
-184 blocks (tied for 19th)
7. Katie Douglas
The 6-foot Douglas was the 10th overall pick in the 2001 WNBA Draft out of Purdue by the now defunct Orlando Miracle.
In eight seasons, Douglas has averaged 12.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.6 apg and 1.6 spg.
Last year, she scored 15.6 ppg, with 4.1 rpg and 3.2 apg, in the return to her home state, playing for the Indiana Fever.
Katie Douglas' all-time WNBA ranks:
-3,094 points (27th)
-12.5 ppg (28th)
-395 steals (13th)
6. Svetlana Abrosimova
The 6'2" Abrismova was the No. 7 pick of the Minnesota Lynx in 2001, out of UConn.
Last year, she only averaged 5.7 ppg and 3.3 rpg in limited action.
In eight years, Abrosimova scored 9.8 ppg and pulled down 4.4 rpg.
She has a superstition of that she must step on the court with her right foot during warmups.
5. Candace Parker
Parker will no doubt become the 'Michael Jordan' of the WNBA, despite having played only one season thus far.
At 6'4" from Tennessee, she was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and immediately put up gaudy numbers.
She was 2008 Rookie of the Year, averaging 18.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.3 spg and 2.3 bpg. Parker also shot 52 percent from the field.
Not only was she the ROY, but she also took home the league's MVP (just one more to add to her already enormous collection).
4. Kayte Christensen
The 6'3" Christensen, out of the University of California-Santa Barbara, was a third-round selection by the Phoenix Mercury in 2002.
She missed the entire 2008 season with the Chicago Sky, and her career numbers aren't the greatest at 3.2 ppg and 2.6 rpg.
Still, Christensen is nice to look at while she's running up and down the floor.
She's also worked with the Sacramento Kings during the NBA season.
3. Sue Bird
Sue Bird was the No. 1 overall selection of the 2002 NBA Draft by the Seattle Storm.
The 5'8" guard from UConn still plays her games in Seattle, where she averaged 14.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 5.1 apg, while shooting 87 percent from the line a season ago.
In seven seasons, Bird is averaging 12.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 5.5 apg and 1.4 spg. She is also an 88 percent shooter from the line.
Bird is a four-time All-WNBA first team member and a two-time gold medalist for the USA.
Sue Bird's all-time WNBA ranks:
-2,841 points (30th)
-87.5 FT% (tied for sixth)
-1,246 assists (fifth)
2. Lauren Jackson
Jackson, the 6'5" Aussie, was the No. 1 overall pick in thr 2001 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm.
Like Bird, she has played her entire career in the Great Northwest averaging 19.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg, and has played in all of her 237 games throughout her eight-year career.
Last year, Jackson averaged 20.2 ppg, 7 rpg, 1.5 spg and 1.6 bpg for the Storm, while shooting 93% from the line.
She is a two-time WNBA MVP, five-time All-WNBA first team member, six-time All Star and a three-time silver medalist for Australia.
It also helped that she posed nude and was in SI's Swimsuit Edition for her high placement on this list.
Lauren Jackson's all-time WNBA ranks:
-4,602 points (fifth)
-1,887 rebounds (sixth)
-485 blocks (third)
1. Becky Hammon
The 5'7" Hammon went undrafted out of Colorado Sate and has become one of the best players in the WNBA.
Last year, she averaged 17.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.3 spg and shot 94% from the line for the San Antonio Silver Stars.
In seven seasons, Hammon is averaging 12.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.1 apg and is shooting nearly 89% from the free throw line.
She is the All-American girl, from the heart of America who just happens to be a four-time All Star.
Hammon has a group of fans called the 'Hammonites' whose slogan is: "It's Hammon Time."
She was also given the nickname of "Big Shot Becky" which was derived from the Spurs' Robert Horry and "Big Shot Bob", for their clutch performances.
Becky Hammon's all-time WNBA ranks:
-3,476 points (16th)
-88.7 FT% (third)
-876 assists (11th)