Nov. 5, 2008
BERKELEY - California women's basketball seniors Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker were among the 30 preseason candidates named as contenders for the prestigious Wooden Award. The John R. Wooden Award is an award given annually to the most outstanding men's and women's college basketball players. The national award program consists of men's and women's Player of the Year awards as well as naming an All-American team. Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder, announced the 2008-09 preseason candidates for the Women's Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy today. The list is composed 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.
California was one of only four teams with multiple players named as preseason candidates for the Wooden award. Connecticut had three players make the top 30 with Rutgers and Maryland joining Cal with a pair. Jayne Appel of Stanford was the only other Pac-10 player to be named as a finalist.
Hampton, a two-time All-American who was the first Cal player to be named a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection and the first to be named the Pac-10 Player of the Year (2006-07), is a third-team preseason All-American selection for 2008-09 by the Sporting News. Walker, a two-time All-American and two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection, was named a 2008-09 preseason first team All-American by the Sporting News. Both are also candidates for the WBCA's State Farm Wade Trophy, which is awarded annually to "the greatest female basketball player in the country who not only excels athletically, but serves as a positive role model both on and off the court."
In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top-20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Women's Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round during the NCAA Tournament.
The 33rd annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award to Rick Barnes from The University of Texas, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club in April, 2009.
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 cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), and last year's recipients, Kevin Durant of Texas and Candace Parker of Tennessee ('07 and '08). 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 as well as sent over 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the awards 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.
2008-09 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List - Women's Category Women's All-American Team - Top 30 Candidates Player Height Position Class University Jessica Adair 6-4 C/F Sr. George Washington Jayne Appel 6-4 F/C Jr. Stanford Chante Black 6-5 F/C Sr. Duke DeWanna Bonner 6-4 G Sr. Auburn Heather Bowman 6-2 F Jr. Gonzaga Tina Charles 6-4 C Jr. Connecticut Marissa Coleman 6-1 G/F Sr. Maryland Allyssa DeHaan 6-9 C Jr. Michigan State Krystal Ellis 5-9 G Sr. Marquette Rachele Fitz 6-0 F Jr. Marist Devanei Hampton 6-3 F/C Sr. California Ashley Houts 5-6 G Jr. Georgia Jareica Hughes 5-3 G Jr. UTEP Jantel Lavender 6-4 C So. Ohio State Shalee Lehning 5-9 G Sr. Kansas State Rashanda McCants 6-1 G/F Sr. North Carolina Angel McCoughtry 6-1 F Sr. Louisville Renee Montgomery 5-7 G Sr. Connecticut Maya Moore * 6-0 F So. Connecticut Courtney Paris # 6-4 C Sr. Oklahoma Ta'Shia Phillips 6-6 C So. Xavier Epiphanny Prince 5-9 G Jr. Rutgers Andrea Riley 5-5 G Jr. Oklahoma State Takia Starks 5-8 G Sr. Texas A&M Kristi Toliver 5-7 G Sr. Maryland Kia Vaughn 6-4 C Sr. Rutgers Ashley Walker 6-1 F Sr. California Christina Wirth 6-1 F Sr. Vanderbilt Monica Wright 5-11 G Jr. Virginia Shavonte Zellous 5-11 G Sr. Pittsburgh
* Previous Wooden All-American # Three-time Wooden All-American