Candace Parker and Nicky Anosike were named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District IV first team announced by the College of Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday. This marks the second consecutive year that the two have earned a spot on the first team.
Parker, who earned second team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors last season, looks to become the first Lady Vol to repeat as an Academic All-American since Tanya Haave did so in 1983 (third team) and 1984 (first team). The most recent orange-clad woman to pick up first team recognition was Shanna Zolman in 2006.
The six-foot-four, multi-dimensional Parker recorded a 3.50 GPA in the fall semester in her sport management major and has been an SEC All-Academic selection for the past three years. The two-time All-American and 2007 Wade Trophy, John R. Wooden and Honda Award winner was a 2008 preseason national player of the year and leads the Wade Trophy Watch list for the ninth straight week. On Monday, she was named the WBCA National Player of the Month for January after leading the Lady Vols to a 9-0 mark in the first 31 days of the new year.
Anosike, who picked up Academic All-District IV third team honors in 2006 and first team honors in 2007, has a staggering 3.78 cumulative GPA in her triple major of sociology/criminal justice, political science and legal studies. She was named Academic All-Southeastern Conference in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and has earned Lady Vol Honor Roll and UT Dean’s List honors every semester of her collegiate career.
The Staten Island, N.Y., native ranks in the UT career top-10 lists in games started (116), free throw attempts (531), and blocks (146) and needs just 32 more points to become the 33rd Lady Vol to amass 1,000 in her career. This season, she is second on the team in rebounding (6.4 rpg) and blocks (1.2 bpg).
CoSIDA selects Academic All-America teams in 12 programs: football, women's volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's track & field/cross country, women's track & field/cross country, men's at-large and women's at-large. A first team, second team and third team are selected in both the University (Division I and I-AA) and College (Division II, III and NAIA) Divisions. Football consists of just first and second teams.
To be nominated, the student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) for his/her career. No athlete is eligible until he/she has reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her current institution (thus, true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen and ineligible transfers are not eligible). In the cases of transfers, graduate students and junior college graduates, the athlete must have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution to be eligible.
University of Tennessee standout junior, Candace Parker, has been named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Player of the Month for January for the first time in her career.
Parker, the reigning State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year, shot 63 percent from the field en route to averaging 19.1 points per game during the month, as the Lady Vols cruised through January with a perfect 9-0 record. The 6-4 Parker, who plays all positions on the court, pulled down 8.1 rebounds per game last month and also averaged 2.3 assists, 1.8 blocks and 3.1 steals. Her performances against Kentucky and Vanderbilt during the week of January 14-20 earned her the SEC Player of the Week award, her third this season. Parker has helped lead Tennessee to a 20-1 overall record and a No. 2 national ranking in the USA TODAY ESPN Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll. The Lady Vols are currently tied with LSU for first place in the SEC with a 7-0 ledger in league play.
Parker, who was named to the Preseason State Farm "Wade Watch" list this year, currently leads the SEC and ranks 11th nationally in scoring with 20.4 points per game. Meanwhile, she is also nationally ranked in rebounding, blocks, steals and field goal percentage.
Last season, Parker was named NCAA Final Four MVP as she helped lead the Lady Vols to their seventh national championship. The two-time WBCA All-American catapulted herself into ninth place all-time in the Tennessee scoring records when she crossed the 1,700-point and 800-rebound marks against Arkansas on January 24. A native of Naperville, Ill., she has also performed as an All-American in the classroom, earning second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors last season, as well as being named to the SEC All-Academic Team.
Players earning WBCA National Player of the Month Honorable Mention for January include: Courtnay Pilyapitis, Vermont (America East); Amber Harris, Xavier (Atlantic 10); Crystal Langhorne, Maryland (ACC); Ashley Williams, Jacksonville (Atlantic Sun); Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State (Big 12); Tina Charles, Connecticut (Big East); Natalie Doma, Idaho State (Big Sky); Megan Frazee, Liberty (Big South); Jolene Anderson, Wisconsin (Big Ten); Jessica Wilson, UC Santa Barbara (Big West); Jessica Canady, Old Dominion (Colonial Athletic); Twiggy McIntyre, Houston (Conference USA); Robyn Fairbanks, Utah Valley (Independent); Laura Menty, Siena College (Metro Atlantic); Amanda Jackson, Miami (Ohio) University (Mid-American); Shalamar Okley, Coppin State (Mid-Eastern); Kristi Cirone , Illinois State (Missouri Valley); Leilani Mitchell, Utah (Mountain West); Rachel Galligan, Eastern Illinois (Ohio Valley); Jayne Appel, Stanford (Pac-10); Vanessa Van De Venter, Lafayette (Patriot League); Alex Anderson, Univ. of Tenn.-Chattanooga (Southern); Katherine Plummer, Nicholls State (Southland); Gina Hugelier , Western Illinois (Summit League); Amber Holt, Middle Tennessee (Sun Belt); Heather Bowman, Gonzaga (West Coast); Tanya Smith , Hawai'i (Western Athletic).
Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information