On the heels of a first-ever Player of the Week award in her seven-year professional career, the world should know Jessica Breland deserves another nod: Most Resilient Player in the WNBA.
For games through the week ending Sunday July 15, Breland led the Eastern Conference in rebounding (9.3 per game) and blocked shots (2.67 per game). She ranked sixth in scoring, with 14.7 points per game and finished fifth in field-goal percentage: 54.1%, or 20-of-37).
On July 11, Breland had a season-high 23 points, 10 rebounds, a career-high 7 assists and a season-high-tying 4 blocks in the Dream’s win over the Washington Mystics. In the following two games, she averaged 10.5 points, 9 boards, and 2 blocked shots, as the Dream topped the Indiana Fever and the Mystics at home.
While playing for the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2009, Breland was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had to sit out the 2009-2010 season. But she persisted and came back strong in her senior year for the Heels.
Breland was the 13th overall pick in the 2011 draft to the Minnesota Lynx, but was traded to the New York Liberty. In her seven-year career, Breland has played for five different teams. Experiencing her breakout season in 2014, averaging 9.7 points and 4.9 rebounds with the Chicago Sky, Breland showed that her tenacious, humble spirit also permeates her game.
With quiet perseverance, she continually learns from every play, and her play in the past week was very worthy of the Player of the Week honor she received from the league. But what she has done throughout her career is a true testament to her resiliency. Congratulations, Jessica Breland!
Candace Parker was named Player of the Week for the West.