LOS ANGELES – After leading the Lady Vols to the National Championship, University of Tennessee forward Candace Parker was named college basketball player of the year and awarded the prestigious Women’s John R. Wooden Award in a ceremony this morning at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The announcement was made today during the national CBS telecast of the “John R. Wooden Award Show.”
“Parker has proven herself to be an amazing all-around talent and the best player in the nation after leading Tennessee to a National Championship,” said Wooden Award Chairman Duke Llewellyn. “We are tremendously excited to present Candace with the prestigious Women’s Wooden Award.”
The third player to be honored with the Women’s Wooden Award, Parker finished ahead of other finalists including Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris, LSU’s Sylvia Fowles, Duke’s Lindsey Harding and North Carolina’s Ivory Latta (see attached for complete vote tabulation). The ceremony also featured Texas’ Kevin Durant receiving the Men’s Wooden Award and Gene Keady of Purdue receiving the 2007 John R. Wooden “Legends of Coaching” Award.
Parker led the SEC in scoring (19.6 ppg) while guiding Tennessee to a 34-3 record and the 2007 National Championship. Crowned SEC Player of the Year, she also helped Tennessee capture the SEC regular-season title with a perfect 14-0 conference mark.
A panel of more than 200 voters comprised of sports media members and women’s college basketball experts from around the nation had until 3 p.m. EST on Monday, March 26 to cast their votes for both the five-member All-American Team and Wooden Award recipient as the nation’s most outstanding women’s collegiate basketball player. In addition to on-court performance, voters were also asked to make their selections based on each candidate’s character and academic achievements, essential components of the Wooden Award. All voting results were handled and tallied by Deloitte, the official accounting firm of the John R. Wooden Award.
For the first time in Wooden Award history, college basketball fans were able to cast their vote for the Wooden Award Player of the Year. Fans had the option of voting online at www.WoodenAward.com or by text messaging. Nearly 70,000 fans cast their vote and more than 27,000 of those were cast for the Women’s Wooden Award Player of the Year. With 9,200 votes, Candace Parker made it a sweep and took home the Women’s Wooden Award fans’ choice honor as well. The rest of the fans’ top five includes Lindsey Harding, Sylvia Fowles, Ivory Latta and Armintie Price (Mississippi). Men’s results are included in the Men’s Wooden Award Player of the Year release.
The top five finalists will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university’s general scholarship fund.