Pondexter is making a strong case for WNBA Rookie of the Year honors. Through the games of July 6, she led the league in scoring (22.7 ppg) and was fifth in total efficiency points (18.9 pg) and seventh in three-point field-goal percentage (.430). The 5-9 guard is adding 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per contest, shooting 46.2 (123-266) percent from the field and 84.7 (83-98) percent from the free-throw line.
For the games of June 5-12, the Phoenix Mercury guard posted a league-high 28.5 points per contest, shooting 60.5 (23-38) percent from the floor and 72.7 (8-111) percent from the free-throw line, to earn the distinction of being the WNBA Player of the Week. On June 2, she registered 30 points in a 97-87 loss at Seattle, and on June 6, she posted 30 points in a 90-76 victory against Sacramento, becoming the third player in league history to register back-to-back 30-point totals (Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes).
Most recently, Pondexter established a new rookie scoring record when she poured in 35 points in a 91-76 victory at Detroit July 6. Phoenix plays at Connecticut July 8 (3:00 p.m., ESPN2) and at New York July 9 (4:00 p.m., NBA TV and MSG TV) prior to the All-Star break.
Pondexter will be the third former Scarlet Knight to play in the WNBA All-Star Game. Former New York Liberty fan favorite Sue Wicks ('88) participated in 2000, while current Charlotte Sting center Tammy Sutton-Brown ('01) played in 2002.
Joining Pondexter as a reserve for the Western Conference will be her Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi, as well as Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles), Seimone Augustus (Minnesota), Tina Thompson (Houston) and Sophia Young (San Antonio). Sue Bird (Seattle), Yolanda Griffith (Sacramento), Lauren Jackson (Seattle), Dawn Staley (Houston) and Sheryl Swoopes (Houston) were selected by the fans as the starters.
For the Eastern Conference, Tamika Catchings (Indiana), Margo Dydek (Connecticut), Becky Hammon (New York), Nykesha Sales (Connecticut) and Lindsay Whalen (Connecticut) will serve as the starters. Deana Nolan (Detroit), Katie Douglas (Connecticut), Cheryl Ford (Detorit), Katie Smith (Detroit), Tamika Whitmore (Indiana) and Alana Beard (Washington) were announced as the team's reserves.
Pondexter was the second overall selection of the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury. A finalist for the State Farm Wade Trophy, the Naismith Award, the Women's Wooden Award, the Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award, the Honda Sports Award for Basketball and the Nancy Lieberman Award (nation's top point guard), the 5-9 guard was picked as the Women's Basketball News Service National Player of the Year. Pondexter was named to the Kodak/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America First Team, the Associated Press All-America First Team, the ESPN.com All-America First Team, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-America Team, the WBNS All-America First Team, the Women's Wooden Award All-America Team, the Senior CLASS Award All-America First Team, the Full Court Press All-America First Team and the Gballmag.com All-America First Team, and was the unanimous selection as the BIG EAST Player of the Year, becoming the first player in league history to be named to the All-BIG EAST First Team four times during her career. Picked as the WBCA National Player of the Month for January, she started all 32 games for the Scarlet Knights during the 2005-2006 season, averaging 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Named to the NCAA Tournament All-Cleveland Region Team, Pondexter scored her 2,000th career point at West Virginia Feb. 10 and competed with the USA Basketball Senior National Team at the Opals World Challenge in Australia April 8-12. Pondexter played in 121 career games, making 103 starts, and averaged 18.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. She finished her time "On the Banks" first in three-point field-goal percentage (164-385, .426), second in scoring (2,211), free throws made (427), field goals made (810) and field goals attempted (1,768), third in scoring average (18.3 ppg), three-point field goals made (164) and free throws attempted (539), fourth in three-point field goals attempted (385), fifth in assists (470), tied for sixth in free-throw percentage (427-539, .792) and tied for seventh in steals (213) on the RU career charts.