By Will Sahlie
AUBURN, Ala. - With one quick glance at Auburn's record book, one name stands out among all others.
DeWanna Bonner, now of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, played for Auburn from 2005-09, leaving her mark all over the program.
The SEC Player of the Year and a consensus All-American as a senior in 2009, Bonner was a three-time All-SEC First Team member and was twice named to the SEC All-Tournament Team.
Bonner, Auburn's all-time scoring leader, scored 2,162 points in her four-year career. She finished second in rebounds at Auburn with 1,047.
A model of durability, Bonner started every game in her four-year career, finishing with 126 starts, ranking second in Auburn history.
She also finished first in free throws made (600), first in free throw attempts (755), third in free throw percentage (.795), fourth in field goals (744), seventh in blocks (139), eighth in steals (208) and 18th in assists (226). Bonner also holds the Auburn record for double-doubles with 40.
Bonner helped lead Auburn to its fifth SEC championship in 2009 while averaging 21.1 points per game. The Tigers finished the season 30-4, including a win over defending national champion Tennessee in which Bonner scored a career-high 35 points.
"We worked so hard for it," Bonner said. "The previous years we were building, and it was really hard, but we stuck with it. That made that season very special. There were a lot of seniors on that team, and it was very special to bring that back to the Auburn program."
Bonner was selected fifth overall in the 2009 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Mercury, where she continues to create a legacy similar to the one she left on the Plains.
Bonner was named WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She is the only player in WNBA history to win the award more than once.
Bonner, a two-time WNBA champion with the Mercury, was named an All-Star and All-WNBA First team in 2015. She ranks third in Phoenix's history with 3,657 points.
Bonner credits Auburn with preparing her for the next level.
"The work ethic that you put into college, it definitely prepared me for the professional life," Bonner said. "The WNBA is so physical, so it was good to have that experience at Auburn."
Bonner is preparing for another phase of her life, sitting out the 2017 season, expecting twin girls in late August or early September.
"I have always wanted a family and I have looked forward to this chapter of my life," Bonner said.
Like many former student-athletes, Bonner can't help but think of the Auburn Family when reflecting on her time on the Plains.
"As soon as I stepped on campus, that was the first thing I noticed," Bonner said. "Everyone is so welcoming. Everyone is one big family. Everyone takes care of each other. It's a wonderful place. You learn a lot there. You learn to take care of each other."