University of Tennessee women’s basketball players Candace Parker, Alexis Hornbuckle and Nicky Anosike have been named to the 2007-08 preseason “Wade Watch” list for the State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year announced the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association on Tuesday.
The 25-member list, selected by a committee of leading coaches, journalists and basketball administrators, is comprised of top Division I student-athletes who best embody the spirit of Margaret Wade according to the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
“I believe the committee did an outstanding job choosing a group of student-athletes that excels both on and off the court,” said Jeanne Lenti Ponsetto, Chair of the State Farm Wade Trophy Committee and Athletic Director at DePaul University.
“These 25 skilled and talented young women represent the best the college game has to offer. With the level of play increasing year-by-year, we are sure to see yet another season of top-notch, exciting competition.”
A total of 17 institutions and seven conferences are represented in this season’s installment of the “Wade Watch” list. Tennessee, Maryland and Rutgers each add a trio of student-athletes with Marissa Coleman, Crystal Langhorne and Kristi Toliver for the Terrapins; Matee Ajavon, Essence Carson and Kia Vaughn for the Scarlett Knights; and Anosike, Hornbuckle and Candace Parker, last year’s winner of the State Farm Wade Trophy who became the first-ever sophomore to receive the award, for the Lady Vols. Other schools with multiple representatives include Connecticut (Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery) and Stanford (Jayne Appel and Candice Wiggins).
The BIG EAST leads the list in numbers with eight student-athletes. The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference both have five followed by the Pacific-10 with three, the Big Ten with two and the Big 12 and Sun Belt both with one representative.
Sylvia Fowles (LSU), Tasha Humphrey (Georgia), Erlana Larkins (North Carolina), Candice Wiggins (Stanford) and Langhorne have all become very familiar with the “Wade Watch” list with this being their third consecutive selection. Six others are making their second appearance including Crystal Kelly (Western Kentucky), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), Ajavon, Coleman, Parker and Toliver.
Should Parker repeat as the State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year, she would become only the third recipient to receive the award twice. The only other two-time winners of the Wade Trophy include Louisiana State’s Seimone Augustus (2005 and 2006) and Old Dominion’s Nancy Lieberman (1979 and 1980).
The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 30th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. This highly prestigious award, regarded as the "Heisman of Women's Basketball", is organized by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).
The 2008 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced at the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla., April 5-8, 2008.
Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For additional information about the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.
Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information