March 18, 2011
Baylor's Brittney Griner joins Maya Moore (Connecticut), Danielle Adams (Texas A&M) and Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford) on the final ballot for the 2011 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
The finalists were voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The academy based its criteria on player performances this season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States. The winner will be announced at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) awards banquet on April 4 in Indianapolis.
"Winning the Naismith Player of the Year in high school or college is an incredible feat in itself, but to be in contention for awards at both levels is truly remarkable," said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "All of the finalists have enjoyed remarkable individual and team success and we wish them the best of luck the rest of the season."
Beginning March 20, AT&T wireless customers - and sports fans on other wireless networks - will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice by texting VOTE to 345345. Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 2, 2011. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate. Standard messaging rates apply. Fans are allowed one vote per 24-hour period.
"We at AT&T want to congratulate these stellar student-athletes on being named finalists for the esteemed Naismith Trophy for Women's College Basketball Player of the Year," said Jamie Kerr, senior manager, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. "While we're happy to once again invite fans to vote for the player they believe should win, we know fans will have a tough time selecting the most qualified with the incredible performances all four have shown this year."
ABOUT THE FINALISTS
Brittney Griner, Sophomore Center:
This season Griner, the Big 12 Conference's Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the league's postseason tournament, ranked second in the Big 12 and seventh nationally with 22.5 points per game and fifth in the conference in rebounding (7.9). She led Baylor to a 31-2 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Women's Division I Tournament as well as both the Big 12 regular season and tournament championships. The sophomore center notched her fourth career triple-double during the 2010-11 season and was named Big 12 Player of the Week four times. She also ranks second nationally with 4.5 blocks per game.
Maya Moore, Senior Forward:
The 2009 Naismith Trophy winner who also won two National Naismith High School Girl's Player of the Year awards has led the University of Connecticut Huskies to a 110-1 record over the past three seasons and looks to help her team win their third consecutive NCAA Division I National Championship as the No. 1 overall seed in the 2011 women's tournament. The 2011 BIG EAST Player of the Year's 2,921 career points are the most in UConn women's history, and she also ranks second in made three-pointers (299) and third in rebounds (1,224).
Nneka Ogwumike, Junior Forward:
Leading the Cardinals to a 32-2 record in the 2010-2011 season, Ogwumike, a 2010 Wooden All-American, was named once again to the All-Pac-10 Team in 2011 and captured the Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after leading Stanford to its eighth Pac-10 Tournament title. The Cypress, Texas, native, also a Pac-10 All-Defensive Team honorable mention, has averaged 16.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting 57.8 percent from the field this season for the Cardinals.
Danielle Adams, Senior Forward/Center:
The Big 12 Conference's leading scorer (22.7 ppg), Adams has set numerous records at Texas A&M, including most points (40) and most blocked shots (10) in a single game, along with the most points in a single season (726) and most points in two consecutive seasons (1,265).. The 6'1" combination forward/center recorded a team-best 8.6 rebounds per game and notched 13 double-doubles this year, and became the only five-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season.
Other notable Naismith Trophy past winners include Cheryl Miller (USC), Candace Parker (Tennessee), Dawn Staley (Virginia) and last year's winner, Tina Charles from UConn.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.
The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.