Ruth Riley (San Antonio) and Sue Bird (Seattle) are co-winners of the 2011 WNBA Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award

From the league:

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird and San Antonio Silver Stars forward-center Ruth Riley were named the recipients of the 2011 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award, the WNBA announced today.  The first-time winners of Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award each received eight of 39 votes from a panel of national and local sportswriters and broadcasters. Minnesota Lynx guard-forward Seimone Augustus finished third with five votes.

Designed to honor a player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court – ethical behavior, fair play and integrity – the award is named for the late Kim Perrot, who helped guide the Houston Comets to their first two WNBA championships before passing away in August, 1999, after a seven-month battle with cancer.

In her 10th season in the WNBA, Bird, one of the Top 15 Players in WNBA History, has become the face of the Seattle Storm. Bird, however, is a presence in the Seattle community as well, as she is engaged in countless community events and speaking engagements.

“There is no question Sue’s play and presence and her ability to lead impacts the success of the Seattle Storm,” said Coach Brian Agler. “She is as quality a person as there is in the League. Sue is respected by all the coaches, all the players and all the fans throughout the country. She is as steady and reliable as they come. It’s a testament to her reputation that Sue is being honored with the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.”

Riley has been actively involved volunteering with a number of organizations on both a national and local level. She has served as the spokesperson for the Nothing But Nets campaign. She also spent time during the season visiting numerous camps and clinics throughout San Antonio as well as visiting the Christus Santa Rosa children’s hospital.

"Ruth Riley’s work on a daily basis makes her team, community and world a better place to be,” said Coach Dan Hughes. “We are thrilled that she is being recognized for her incredible contributions on and off the court."

In honor of being named the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award co-winners, Bird and Riley will each receive $5,000 and a specially-designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.  An additional $5,000 will be designated to the charity of her choice.

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