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PHOTOS: The WNBA’s Sixth Women of the 2010s

As the decade comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the WNBA’s Sixth Women of the Year — those dazzling marvels who display superstar skills off the bench.

2014 WNBA Finals - Game Three
Allie Quigley (left) and DeWanna Bonner won two Sixth Woman of the Year awards apiece in the 2010s.
Getty Images

A Sixth Woman is a player who comes off the bench with difference-making, if not superstar-caliber skills. She can jolt a stagnant offense or lead a team in making a defensive stand. As the 2010s wind to a close, Swish Appeal reflects on the WNBA’s Sixth Women of the Year. Of the eight women who won the award this decade, DeWanna Bonner and Allie Quigley repeated for the award. Two players on the list went on to win WNBA championships.


DeWanna Bonner, 2010, 2011

2010 season averages

12 points (46.5 percent field goal, 35.8 percent 3-point, 84 percent free throw), 6.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.1 blocks

Phoenix Mercury v Seattle Storm, Game 1
DeWanna Bonner rises up against the Seattle Storm in the 2010 Western Conference Finals.
Photo by Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE via Getty Images

DeWanna Bonner opened the decade by winning her second straight Sixth Woman of the Year award. Her first came during her rookie season. In 2011, Bonner made it a three-peat for Sixth Woman of the Year honors. After coming off the bench for three seasons, Bonner entered the starting lineup in 2012 and two years later helped her Phoenix Mercury to the 2014 WNBA Finals win.


Renee Montgomery, 2012

2012 season averages

11.6 points (34.8 percent field goal, 36.4 percent 3-point, 84.8 percent free throws), 2.6 assists, 1.9 rebounds, 1 steal

Liberty v Sun Game 1
Renee Montgomery soars for the Connecticut Sun in the 2012 WNBA Playoffs.
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Montgomery’s shooting percentages may not dazzle, but her contributions off the bench in 24 minutes per game provided needed relief for the Connecticut Sun starters. Montgomery could be relied upon to fill her roll night in and night out, making steady contributions for the Sun offense.


Riquna Williams, 2013

2013 season averages

15.6 points (39.7 percent field goal, 38.1 percent 3-point, 90 percent free throws), 2.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1 steal

Seattle Storm v Tulsa Shock
Riquna Williams elevates to get a bucket to go for the Tulsa Shock.
Photo by Shane Bevel/NBAE via Getty Images

After a solid rookie season the prior year, Williams needed just two more minutes of playing time per game as a sophomore to make significant increases in every statistical area. Those strides weren’t enough to help the Shock win championships during her tenure, or to keep the franchise in Tulsa. Williams now plays for the Los Angeles Sparks.


Allie Quigley, 2014, 2015

2014 season averages

11.2 points (44.4 percent field goal, 38.7 percent 3-point, 87.9 percent free throws), 2.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists

Chicago Sky v Phoenix Mercury - 2014 WNBA Finals - Game 2
Diana ... who? Allie Quigley shoots over Taurasi in the Chicago Sky’s failed bid for the 2014 WNBA Finals win.
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

In 24.8 minutes per game, Quigley modeled efficiency off the bench. Although her Chicago Sky couldn’t get past the Mercury in the 2014 Finals, Quigley had another strong year in 2015 — good enough for a repeat of the Sixth Woman award. When frontcourt stars Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles departed for other teams, Quigley moved into the starting lineup in 2017.


Jantel Lavender, 2016

2016 season averages

9.6 points (53.8 percent field goal, 68.3 percent free throws), 3.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists

Los Angeles Sparks Championship Rally 2016
Jantel Lavender had many reasons to smile in 2016.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Efficient shooting off the bench is what the Los Angeles Sparks needed and in Jantel Lavender that’s exactly what they got. In fewer than 20 minutes per game, Lavender consistently made the scoring contribution determined by her role. In a big year for the L.A. franchise, Nneka Ogwumike was named 2016 league MVP, the Sparks won the championship and Candace Parker was named Finals MVP.


Sugar Rodgers, 2017

2017 season averages

10.5 points (33.9 percent field goal, 34.2 percent 3-point, 81.5 percent free throws), 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists

San Antonio Stars v New York Liberty
Sugar Rodgers puts her keen court vision on display in a game with the New York Liberty in 2017.
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Rodgers’ shooting percentages may underwhelm, but she infused the New York Liberty with energy off the bench, and that doesn’t show up in the box score. Rodgers has keen court vision and is a master at revving the pace and pressuring the ball. She averaged 25.6 minutes per game in 2017 and started in 15 of the 33 games she played.


Jonquel Jones, 2018

2018 season averages

11.8 points (55 percent field goal, 46.7 percent 3-point, 67.1 percent free throws), 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 blocks

WNBA: AUG 23 Second Round Playoffs - Phoenix Mercury at Connecticut Sun
Jonquel Jones gets up a shot through traffic in the Connecticut Sun’s second-round, single-elimination game in the 2018 playoffs.
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jones and her Connecticut Sun came up just short of beating the Phoenix Mercury in their 2018 second-round, single-elimination game for a chance at a deeper playoff run but Jones was a big part of helping the team get that far. The following year, with Jones in the starting lineup, the Sun put together another commanding season, finishing second in the league behind the Washington Mystics, who the Sun forced to five games in the 2019 WNBA Finals.


Dearica Hamby, 2019

2019 season averages

11 points (48.8 percent field goal, 32.1 percent 3-point, 71.8 percent free throws), 7.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists

Washington Mystics v Las Vegas Aces - Game Four
Dearica Hamby was often the Las Vegas Aces’ saving grace in 2019.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The heave that saved the Las Vegas Aces’ season made Hamby immediately highlight-reel worthy. But that singular play does not define Hamby’s skills. The “Hamby Heave” serves as evidence of what fans already know — that the woman who would be named the Sixth Woman of the Year is as gritty as they come. She’s a master of creating something out of nothing. And while the Aces were figuring out how to best utilize the A’ja Wilson-Liz Cambage frontcourt tandem, Hamby kept the team in wins.


Also in this series:

PHOTOS: The WNBA’s Defensive Players of the Decade