March 24, 2009
The State Farm Wade Trophy Committee along with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) announced the 12 finalists in contention for The State Farm Wade Trophy, including California Golden Bear senior forward Ashley Walker
The candidates were selected by a vote of committee members comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators. Members of the committee will select the winner of The State Farm Wade Trophy from the 10-member Division I State Farm Coaches' All-America Team and will be announced at the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team Press Conference and The State Farm Wade Trophy Announcement during the WBCA National Convention on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 9:45 a.m. CT.
The State Farm Wade Trophy Finalists: Jayne Appel, Stanford Univ.; DeWanna Bonner, Auburn Univ.; Tina Charles, Univ. of Connecticut; Marissa Coleman, Univ. of Maryland; Jantel Lavender, Ohio State Univ.; Angel McCoughtry, Univ. of Louisville; Renee Montgomery, Univ. of Connecticut; Maya Moore, Univ. of Connecticut; Courtney Paris, Univ. of Oklahoma; Kristi Toliver, Univ. of Maryland; Ashley Walker, Univ. of California; Monica Wright, Univ. of Virginia.
The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 32nd year, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. This most prestigious award, regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball", debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball.
Last year's State Farm Wade Trophy winner was Stanford's Candace Wiggins. The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many WNBA standouts such as Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002) and Diana Taurasi (2003). Seimone Augustus (2005 and 2006) and Nancy Lieberman (1979 and 1980) are the award's only two-time recipients.
The Wade Trophy Coalition was established in June of 2000 when the WBCA partnered with The National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS). For the past six years the two have worked together to present The State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year Award. A committee comprised of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States selects the winner.
The State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be formally presented her award at the WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens on Tuesday, April 7, at Noon CT in the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront. The State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year presentation is part of the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four® in St Louis, Mo.