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London 2012: Candace Parker Headlines All-Olympic Team Awards

Eurobasket's tournament MVP Candace Parker celebrates with daughter Lailaa after winning the gold. (Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
Eurobasket's tournament MVP Candace Parker celebrates with daughter Lailaa after winning the gold. (Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

Following the culmination of the 2012 Olympic Games, released their All-Olympic awards yesterday.

Here's a look at who they thought the top performers were -

Most Valuable Player:

Candace Parker, USA - Parker helped propel the United States to their fifth-consecutive gold medal. She contributed 10.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2 assists per game, while making over 50% of her shot attempts. Parker also had 10 blocks in her eight Oympic games and finished with a player efficiency rating of 36.12, good for third overall. Versus France in the championship contest, she had a stellar night, going for 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting and adding 11 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. It was her third double-double of the Olympics.

Best Guard:

Celine Dumerc, France - No arguments from Geno Auriemma on this selection. In fact, he might have even been inclined to place her over his own MVP selection. "I thought Celine (Dumerc) was the most important player and the most impactful player in the tournament, and I just want to say congratulations."

Statistically, she had a player efficiency rating of 32.93 - slightly above Parker's 31.62 - good for second (you'll see who was ranked first in this category later if you didn't already see it in Nate's piece on Celine yesterday). Dumerc averaged 14.2 points on nearly 53% shooting, and chipped in 3.4 assists and 3 rebounds a night along the way to the silver medal. And although she didn't get to the line all that often, when she did she capitalized with 17-of-19 shooting from the stripe.

Best Forward:

Lauren Jackson, Australia - LJ's time spent away from the Storm resulted in the bronze medal after having to face off with the U.S. in the semifinals. She saved one of her best games for last, though, as she walked away from the win against Russia with 25 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 11 rebounds. For the tournament run, she averaged 15.9 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Opals.

Best Center:

Candace Parker, USA - See above.

Best Coach:

Geno Auriemma, USA - It's obviously hard to argue that anyone out-coached the coach of the gold medalists. I'm most certainly not going to try it!

First Team:

PG: Becky Hammon, Russia - Hammon finished with team highs in minutes, points and assists for Russia. In her 27+ minutes per game, she put up 12.1 points, 4.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds a contest.
G: Celine Dumerc, France - See above.
F: Eva Viteckova, Czech Republic - The Czech's leading scorer was also the leading turnover-getter, contributing to her 19.21 PER. She averaged 15.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 1.3 apg.
F/C: Lauren Jackson, Australia - See above.
C: Candace Parker, USA - See above.

Second Team:

F: Miao Lijie, China - Maio ran the point with precision en route to averaging a tournament-high 6.5 assists a night to go along with 9.3 points and 2.8 rebounds.
SG: Diana Taurasi, USA - Team's leading scorer with 99 total points - averaged 12.4 ppg, 3 rpg and 2.9 apg with a 25.33 PER.
SF: Angel McCoughtry, USA - Led the tournament - yes everyone - in PER, with an outstanding 49.76 rating; had the hottest hand for the U.S., making 62% of her shot attempts; recorded a steal in every game, including five against China - averaged 10.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.5 spg, 2.1 apg.
SF: Johannah Leedham, Great Britain - Despite being called upon early and often in the Olympics, she had a bit of a rough go of things at times, hitting just 33% of her 87 shot attempts. But when the entire team is at that same 33% mark, I guess it's not all that terrible. She averaged a team-high 16.2 points to go with 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists while scooping up a GB-best 12 steals in the team's five losses.
C: Erika de Souza, Brazil - De Souza was the leading contributor for the Brazilians, leading to a team-high 55.6% field goal percentage and 16.2 points per game. She also added 8.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.2 steals and a 27.36 PER in the somewhat dismal 1-4 outing. Leedham and de Souza tied for tournament-best highwater scoring average.

Third Team:

G: Birsel Vardarli, Turkey - Averaged 7.3 ppg, 4.5 apg and 3.5 rpg for Turkey in the tournament.
G: Shona Thorburn, Canada - Her tournament averages of 13.8 points on 57.7% shooting were tops for the Canadians. She also chipped in 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists a contest.
SG: Natalie Stafford, Great Britain - Stafford posted 15.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.4 apg and capped her Olympic experience with 15 points, 11, rebounds and four assists against Brazil in the closing game of the prelims.
F: Kimberly Smith, Canada - Nearly posted a double-double against Brazil with 10 points and eight assists in the win. Averaged 10.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds through six games in the Olympic tournament.
C: Liz Cambage, Australia - Cambage helped her fellow countrywoman Jackson by contributing 13.6 points on a team-high 59.5% shooting, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 22 minutes per game. Cambage's PER was fourth-best at 31.6 (and above Jackson's. Not that I'm biased or anything.) Oh yeah, and don't forget the dunk!

Honorable Mention:

Sandrine Gruda, France - Led the team in minutes played with 227 - posted averages on 9.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 apg and swatted 17 shots in eight games. Her 2.1 blocks per game led the tournament field.
Bahar Caglar, Turkey - Shot a team-high 51.4% from the field and averaged 7.7 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.8 apg and finished with a 27.42 PER.
Chen Nan, China - Chen led the way for China in points, rebounds and PER, averaging 15.7 and 6.7 with a 22.6 PER in six games played. She recorded a 28-point, 10-rebounding outing against Croatia in the preliminary round.
Ma Zengyu, China - Posted 12.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 2.0 apg in the Chinese effort. Her 35.3 minutes a game played was the most in the tournament.
Clarissa dos Santos, Brazil - Dos Santos played a relatively limited 23.6 minutes per game, but that didn't stop her from leading the team with 45 boards (18 offensive), besting de Souza by one and finishing with an average of nine rebounds a game to lead the tournament. Dos Santos also added 12.6 points per game, finised with a PER of 25.28 and led the way for Brazil with a net plus/minus of +26.3.
Sandra Mandir, Croatia - Averaged 14 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.4 tpg (turnovers) and 2.6 apg for her team through five games.

The only team not represented on any list in Angola. The United States and China are both represented by three selections, and there are four U.S. representatives if you want to count Auriemma. Teams represented by just one selection were Russia, Czech Republic and Croatia.

Do you agree? Disagree? How would you revise these lists and why?