Oct. 5, 2010
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Baylor women's basketball sophomore post Brittney Griner is among 30 female student-athletes named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 list, The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Tuesday. The women's list is comprised of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
Griner, a 6-8 post, set an NCAA blocked shot record as a freshman with 223 rejections. In addition, she recorded four dunks including two in one game. The Houston native averaged 18.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.4 blocks a contest en route to attaining All-American status. She was named Freshman of the Year by the USBWA and was also selected as the Big 12 Conference's Freshman of the Year, Co-Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-Big 12 first team, All-Defensive team and All-Freshman team.
So far this season Griner has earned recognition on three preseason first-team All-America teams as well as being named to the Wade Trophy Watch List.
Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for December's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March. The National Ballot consists of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation's top five players, will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament.
The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 8-10, 2011.
Six schools, all perennial top programs at the national level, had two players chosen to the Preseason List: Connecticut (Moore, Tiffany Hayes); North Carolina (Jessica Breland, Italee Lucas); Ohio State (Jantel Lavender, Samantha Prahalis-both Wooden Award ballot picks in 2010); Stanford (Ogwumike, Kayla Pedersen); and Tennessee (Angie Bjorklund, Shekenna Stricklen).
The ACC and Big East each had five players named to the preseason Top 30. The Big 12, Big 10, Pac-10 and SEC each had three selections, followed by the Atlantic 10 and CAA with two, and the Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and West Coast with one. Only three sophomores made the list: Baylor's Brittney Griner, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Candace Parker ('07 and '08) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09). Ohio State's Evan Turner and Connecticut's Tina Charles won the Award in 2010.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5206 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.