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Delle Donne, Charles named two of WNBA's greatest 25 players

/ by Tyler Byrum
Presented By Sandy Spring Bank
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Even in the midst of two incredible careers, voters already recognize that former WNBA MVPs Elena Delle Donne and Tina Charles are two of the greatest and most influential players in the WNBA's 25-year history. 

On Sunday the two Washington Mystics were named to 'The W25' by a panel of select media members and women’s basketball pioneers. Originally, there were 72 players on the ballot.

Delle Donne and Charles were two of the 10 current players on the list. Here is the full W25.

  • Seimone Augustus
  • Sue Bird*
  • Swin Cash
  • Tamika Catchings
  • Tina Charles*
  • Cynthia Cooper 
  • Elena Delle Donne*
  • Sylvia Fowles*
  • Yolanda Griffith
  • Brittney Griner*
  • Becky Hammon
  • Lauren Jackson
  • Lisa Leslie
  • Angel McCoughtry*
  • Maya Moore 
  • Nneka Ogwumike*
  • Candace Parker*
  • Ticha Penicheiro 
  • Cappie Pondexter 
  • Katie Smith 
  • Breanna Stewart*
  • Sheryl Swoopes 
  • Diana Taurasi*
  • Tina Thompson 
  • Lindsay Whalen 

* denotes current player

Immediately, Delle Donne came into the league as one of the best players. She was a prized draft pick in the loaded 2013 WNBA Draft, selected No. 2 overall. It took her just three seasons to claim her first MVP honor and then became the first player to win a second with a different team in 2019. That year she also won her lone WNBA title and was the first female basketball player to join the elusive 50-40-90 club. 

Every team she is on is a threat to win any given night. Injuries, though, have hampered her career - most notably her back over the past handful of seasons. In her ninth year since being drafted, she has yet to play a full 34-game season. Only three times has she played more than 30 games in the regular season. 

Still, throughout her career, Delle Donne's 20.1 ppg is second all-time behind Cynthia Cooper.

 

Much like her teammate, Charles came into the league with instant success as well. She also was named an MVP in her third season, plus is in the top-20 in WNBA history in points, rebounds and blocks. Even at a spry 32, Charles is currently the WNBA's leading scorer for 2021 and may be in contention to win her second MVP award this season. 

Her pursuit of a championship led her D.C., hoping to notch one more recognition into her illustrious career.

The WNBA will now hold GOAT voting, where one of the 25 players will be named the greatest of all time. Fan votes will be counted on Twitter, WNBA.com and the WNBA app. 

A third member of the Mystics organization was also included in the W25 with Katie Smith's selection. She played her sole season in D.C. during 2010 where Washington surpassed 20 wins for the first time.