Fever's Catchings named WNBA MVP

Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been selected as the WNBA's MVP for the 2011 season.

Catchings received 21 first-place votes and a total of 292 points from a national panel of 40 sportswriters and broadcasters, outdistancing Connecticut center Tina Charles for the honor. Charles garnered six first-place votes and 209 points, while Chicago center Sylvia Fowles was next in the balloting with 148 points.

In her 10th season, all with the Fever, Catchings finally earned the top individual prize. She had finished as the runner-up for the award in 2003, 2009 and last year.

Catchings averaged 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season to help Indiana earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 21-13. The Fever beat New York in the first round of the playoffs and will take on Atlanta in the conference finals.

A seven-time All-Star and the 2002 Rookie of the Year, Catchings earlier this season became the first WNBA player to eclipse 5,000 points, 2,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists. She is the only player to rank among the league's all-time top 10 in points, rebounds, assists and steals.

Catchings, a four-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, became the first member of the Fever to win the MVP award.