|No. 0 – Los Angeles Sparks|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
May 14, 1982|
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||160 lb (73 kg)|
|High school||Southwood (Shreveport, Louisiana)|
|WNBA draft||2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall|
|Selected by the Washington Mystics|
|2008–2009||Lotos VBW Clima Gdynia|
|2012–present||Los Angeles Sparks|
|2012–2013||Wisla Can-Pack Kraków|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at WNBA.com|
Alana Monique Beard (born May 14, 1982) is an American professional women's basketball player for the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was the first Duke women's basketball player to have her jersey number (20) retired.
Beard was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 14, 1982 to LeRoy and Marie Beard.
Beard played for Southwood High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she led her team to four consecutive state titles. The team compiled a record of 144–6 while she was on the team. She scored 2,646 points during her four years, and finished her high school career with 53 consecutive victories. Beard was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 2000 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored fifteen points.
Coach Gail Goestenkors, then at Duke University, successfully recruited Beard. During her four years, she set a school scoring record of 2,687 points. Beard is the first NCAA basketball player to amass over 2,600 points, 500 assist and 400 steals. During the four years Beard played for Duke, the team won four regular season and tournaments championships. Beard helped Duke reach the Final Four twice in her career. In her senior year, the team achieved the first ever number one ranking in the final AP poll of the year.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Beard was drafted in 2004 with the 2nd overall pick by the Washington Mystics. In her rookie season, she immediately became a starter and helped lead the Mystics to the playoffs, despite the loss of star Chamique Holdsclaw halfway through the season. They lost to the Connecticut Sun in the first round of the playoffs 2-1.
In her second season, Beard was named a WNBA All-Star for the first time in her career, while averaging 14.1 ppg, but the Mystics never made the playoffs.
Beard had the best year of her career in the 2006 season, averaging a career-high 19.2 ppg, shooting nearly 50% from the field and was once again named a WNBA All-Star. Her season performance, led the Mystics to a playoff berth but were eliminated yet again by Connecticut in the first round in a 2-game sweep.
The 2009 season would be Beard's final year playing with the Mystics. Following the 2009 season, Beard sat out two consecutive seasons, she missed the 2010 season after undergoing surgery to repair an ankle tendon and sat out the 2011 season with a foot injury.
After recovering from back-to-back season ending injuries, Beard signed with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012 during free agency. Beard played the shooting guard in the Sparks's starting lineup. With a supporting cast of Candace Parker, Kristi Toliver and Nneka Ogwumike, the Sparks made it back to the playoffs for the first time in 2 years with Beard's contributions as the Sparks finished second in the Western Conference with a 24-10 record. She averaged 11.4 ppg in 33 games while shooting a career-high in 3-point field goal percentage. The Sparks made it to the second round but were swept 2-0 by the Minnesota Lynx.
In the 2015 season, Beard missed the first two months with plantar fasciitis. She played 14 games with 11 starts, averaging 7.8 ppg after recovery. By this time, Beard had already transitioned into playing the small forward in the Sparks's starting lineup. The Sparks still made it to the playoffs but lost 2-1 in the first round by the Minnesota Lynx, who won the championship that year.
In the 2016 season, Beard would be fully healthy, playing and starting in all 34 games, averaging 7.1 ppg. With the all-star trio of Parker, Toliver and Ogwumike, the Sparks were a championship contender and finished with a 26-8 record. With the WNBA's new playoff format in effect, the Sparks were the number 2 seed in the league with a double-bye to the semi-finals (the last round before the WNBA Finals) facing the Chicago Sky. The Sparks defeated the Sky 3-1 in the series, advancing to the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2003. In the WNBA Finals, it was the second time in league history where two teams from the same conference faced each other in the Finals due to the new playoff format, as they faced the championship-defending Minnesota Lynx. It would be Beard's first career finals appearance and one of the most memorable highlights of the series was in Game 1 where Beard made a game-winning jump shot at the buzzer to give the Sparks a 1-0 lead. The Sparks would go on to win the series in five games, clinching the 2016 WNBA Championship and Beard winning her first career championship.
WNBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game||RPG||Rebounds per game|
|APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game||BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
|TO||Turnovers per game||FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|Bold||Career high||League leader|
|Career||11 years, 2 teams||339||335||30.3||.433||.337||.763||3.5||2.7||1.7||0.5||2.3||12.8|
|Career||8 years, 2 teams||28||28||31.5||.407||.171||.803||3.8||2.5||1.5||0.7||1.5||10.5|
Beard's first overseas stint was in the 2005-06 off-season when she played in South Korea for the Shinsegae Coolcat. Beard played in Israel for Elitzur Ramla during the 2006-07 off-season. In the 2008-09 offseason, Beard played in Poland for Lotos VBW Clima Gdynia. In the 2011-12 off-season, Beard played once again in Israel for Elitzur Ramla. In the 2012-13 off-season she played in Poland for Wisla Can-Pack Kraków. In the 2015-16 off-season, Beard played in Spain for Perfumerias Avenida.
Beard was a member of the USA Women's U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. The event was held in July 2000, when the USA team defeated Cuba to win the championship. Beard helped the team the gold medal, starting all five games and leading all scorers with 15.4 points per game. She was the leading scorer in the opening game against Puerto Rico with 23 points (tied with Aminata Yanni) and the leading scorer against Argentina with 24 points.
She continued as a member of the team which went on to the World Championships in Brno, Czech Republic. Beard was the second leading scorer for the USA team (behind Diana Taurasi) with 18.0 points per game. That scoring placed her fifth among all participants. She helped the team win the bronze medal.
Off the court
In 2004, Beard started the Alana Beard Foundation a nonprofit organization that sponsors female AAU basketball teams, aiding young women with the necessary resources to achieve success on or off court. The foundation currently sponsors seven female AAU basketball teams. Six of the teams are located in Maryland called Alana Beard's Future and one in her hometown Shreveport, Louisiana called the Southern Mystics.
Honors and awards
- John R. Wooden Award-Women's Basketball National Player of the Year 2004
- State Farm Wade Trophy-National Player of the Year 2004
- Associated Press -National Player of the Year 2004
- Naismith Player of the Year
- Lowe's Senior CLASS Award 2004
- United States Basketball Writers Association-National Player of the Year 2004
- Victor Award-National Player of the Year 2003
- ESPN.com-National Player of the Year 2003, 2004
- Bayer Advantage Senior Class Award 2004
- Kodak All-American 2002, 2003, 2004
- AP All-American 2002, 2003, 2004
- United States Basketball Writers Association All-America 2002, 2003, 2004
- Women's Basketball News Service All-America 2001, 2003, 2004
- Kodak/WBCA All-District II 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
- United States Basketball Writers Association National Freshman of the Year 2001
- Sports Illustrated National Freshman of the Year 2001
- Women's Basketball Journal National Freshman of the Year 2001
- CBS Sportsline National Freshman of the Year 2001
- Basketball Times Freshman All-America 2001
- WBCA Player(s) of the Year 2004
- ACC Female Athlete of the Year 2003, 2004
- ACC Women's Legends Class of 2015
- 2005 WNBA All-Star Team
- 2006 WNBA All-Star Team
- 2007 WNBA All-Star Team
- 2009 WNBA All-Star Selection
- "Alana Beard". WNBA. Archived from the original on August 23, 2009. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- Porter p. 32
- "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- "Women's Basketball Player stats". NCAA. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- "Fourth Women's Junior World Championship Qualifying Team -- 2000". USA Basketball. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "Fifth FIBA Women's U19/Junior World Championship -- 2001". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- "The Wade Trophy". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
- "Duke Tradition" (PDF). Duke. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- "Women's Basketball Lowe's Senior Class Award Winner". Premier Sports Management. April 4, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2009.
- David L. Porter, ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6.
- Alana Beard at WNBA.com
- WNBA chat transcript
- Alana's bio at usolympicteam.com
- 2008 Moment of Thanks video of Alana Beard thanking the troops for their service