April 7, 2008
TAMPA, FLA. - University of Tennessee All-America
Forward Candace Parker has been named winner of the 2008 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. Parker was presented with the Naismith Women's College Player of the Year trophy by Atlanta Tipoff Club Board of Directors Member Barry Goheen and AT&T Senior Vice President, Architecture and Planning Kris Rinne at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association convention in Tampa, Fla.
The 6-4 junior, a Naismith finalist last season, edged out Sylvia Fowles
(LSU), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma) and Candice Wiggins (Stanford), and
became just the fifth women's player ever to win both the high school
and college Naismith Trophies as player of the year (Tamika Catchings,
Chamique Holdsclaw, Lisa Leslie and Diana Taurasi). Tennessee now joins USC and Connecticut as having won the most Women's Naismith trophies with four.
Additionally, Parker holds the distinction of being one of only two
female athletes ever to win the Naismith National High School trophy
twice, having claimed it in both 2003 and 2004 when she played at
Naperville (Ill.) Central High School. Paris won the award in 2005 at
Piedmont (Calif.) High School.
Parker led the Lady Vols in scoring (20.6 points) and rebounds (8.8)
this season. She is a two-time Kodak All-American, a three-time
first-team All-SEC unanimous selection, the 2006 SEC Freshman of the
Year and 2007 SEC Player of the Year.
Parker was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's board of selectors - a
collection of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators
from around the country - and the fans. Through AT&T's wireless text
messaging, fans accounted for an unprecedented 25% of the board of
selectors' overall vote for the fourth straight year. The results were
certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP
"We are proud to welcome a former winner back into the Naismith family, especially someone who has achieved excellence on a consistent basis," said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. "Candace has enjoyed a tremendous season and career at Tennessee and the college game will miss her dearly."
"Candace Parker has had an outstanding year and is an extremely worthy recipient of the Naismith Trophy," said Rinne. "AT&T is proud to empower the fans to help anoint Candace as the 2008 Naismith Trophy Women's Player of the Year. No other award in college sports gives fans a greater voice in selecting the winner."
"The Naismith Award has been long considered as one of the top honors for both high school and collegiate athletes," said Pat Summitt,
University of Tennessee head coach. "Candace Parker is one of those
rare talents who has been able to win the award on both levels. The Lady Vol basketball family is extremely proud of her accomplishments."