April 19, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. - California sophomore center Devanei Hampton and sophomore forward Ashley Walker were selected the Golden Bears' Best Offensive Players, and senior guard Keanna Levy was chosen the Best Defensive Player at the team's annual banquet Thursday night at the Double Tree in the Berkeley Marina.
Other awards announced were: Most Improved - Natasha Vital Alisa Lewis Heart and Hustle - Krista Foster and Shantrell Sneed Practice Player of the Year - Ashley Walker Academic Achievement - Ashley Walker Best Free Throw Shooter - Ashley Walker (76.7%, 174-227) Best Rebounder - Ashley Walker (8.7 rpg)Hampton, who also was tabbed Cal's Best Offensive Player as a freshman, became the first Bears' women's basketball player to garner Pac-10 Player of the Year honors this season after leading the Pac-10 in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and ranking second in scoring (18.9 ppg) in conference games. The Oakland product also received 2006-07 honorable mention Kodak/WBCA and Associated Press All-America recognition. A two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection, Hampton finished the season averaging 16.6 ppg and 8.0 rpg, placing her seventh and third in the conference, respectively. The 6-3 center recorded eight double-doubles and posted at least 20 points 11 times this season.
Walker, a 6-1 forward, joined Hampton as an honorable mention AP All-American and a first-team All-Pac-10 choice this year and was a member of the Wade Trophy watch list. Walker led the team and ranked third in the conference in scoring at 17.3 ppg. She also paced the Pac-10 in rebounding (8.7 rpg), was third in field goal percentage (.532) and fourth in blocked shots (1.34 bpg). Highlighted by a career-high 32 points and 11-rebound effort in a home win over USC, Walker led the Pac-10 with 12 double-doubles and tallied at least 20 points 10 times this season. The Modesto, Calif., product paced the Bears with 20 points and 13 rebounds against Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Walker also led the Bears in free throw percentage (76.7), sinking 174-of-227 attempts, and was chosen the team's Practice Player of the Year for her consistent effort and attitude during practice.
Hampton and Walker are the first Cal players to garner All-America accolades since Milica Vukadinovic earned the Bears' only first-team Kodak All-America selection in 1992-93.
Levy had a breakout senior campaign, starting 29 of the 31 games she played in after seeing limited action as a reserve for three seasons. The product of Waterloo, Iowa, averaged 7.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 1.1 spg and was frequently assigned to guard an opponent's top perimeter player.
Vital, a freshman guard, was named to the first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman team after showing dramatic improvement throughout the season. A native of Stockton, Vital averaged 3.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 1.3 apg in 18.4 minutes per game as a reserve in the first nine games of the year. After sophomore starting point guard Alexis Gray-Lawson suffered an ACL injury, Vital stepped up to average 8.6 ppg, 5.0 apg and 2.9 rpg in 38.8 mpg as a starter over the final 23 contests. In Pac-10 games, she ranked first in the conference in minutes played (39.39 mpg) and second in assists (5.44 apg).
Foster, who also received the Heart and Hustle award as a sophomore, averaged 3.6 ppg and 1.8 rpg as a junior forward this year. The Fair Oaks native provided a huge spark against Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, contributing eight points, six rebounds, one assist and one block.
Sneed saw action in 13 games in 2006-07. The junior forward pushed her teammates in every practice to make them better.
Cal finished the 2006-07 season with a 23-9 record, which was one win shy of matching the 1983-84 Bears (28-4) for the most wins in school history. This year's team also placed third in the Pac-10 - a program best - at 12-6, which equaled the 1991-92 squad for the best Pac-10 record in school history. Under the direction of Pac-10 Coach of the Year Joanne Boyle, Cal earned its second consecutive NCAA Tournament selection and will be in pursuit of a program-record third straight bid next season.