John R. Wooden Award Announces 2011-2012 Women’s Ballot



John R. Wooden Award Announces 2011-2012 Women’s Ballot

Los Angeles (March 7, 2012)— The 15 women’s Finalists for the John R. Wooden Award were announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club today. The National Ballot, consisting of these top players, will be mailed to Wooden Award voters this week, and voting begins March 12th. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are the final contenders for women’s college basketball’s most prestigious honor.

All players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA, an important component of the Award insisted upon by Coach Wooden.  The Wooden Award All American Teams will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. Voters have until Monday, March 19 at Noon PDT to return their ballots, allowing them to take into consideration performance during the first round of the NCAA Tournament, which makes the Wooden Award unique among college postseason awards.

Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike, a senior, and Baylor junior center Brittney Griner were on last year’s Wooden Award All American Team, and Ogwumike was chosen in 2010 as well. She has led Stanford to its third straight perfect season in conference play, leading the Pac-12 in scoring (21.6 ppg), and ranking second in rebounding (10.5) and free throw percentage (82.8%). Griner ranks No. 6 in the nation in scoring (23.8), and leads the country in blocked shots (5.1). Her Bears are ranked No. 1 in the nation and are enjoying a perfect 31-0 season.

Several additional players return to the Wooden Award ballot from a year ago: Skyler Diggins of Notre Dame, Shekinna Stricklen of Tennessee, and Miami’s Shenise Johnson. Green Bay’s Julie Wojta and Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes are the only players who were not on the midseason Wooden Award list, but who made the ballot.

The ACC has four players on the ballot, followed by the Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, and SEC each with two. The CAA, Big 10, and Horizon League had one player chosen. Three schools have two players on the ballot in 2012: Baylor, Stanford and Miami. Miami’s two players are Johnson and Riquna Williams; Griner and Odyssey Sims represent Baylor. Nnemkadi Ogwumike is joined as a Finalist by her younger sister and frontcourt mate for the Cardinal, Chiney. The duo is the only pair of sisters ever selected to the Wooden Award ballot.

Upperclassmen dominate the list, but this year one freshman, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, and three sophomores were selected: Chiney Ogwumike, Sims, and the ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas of Maryland. Rounding out the ballot are the nation’s top scorer, Elena Delle Donne of Delaware (28.3 ppg); A’dia Mathies, the SEC Player of the Year from Kentucky; Big 10 Player of the Year, Samantha Prahalis of Ohio State; and two-time first team All Big East pick, Tiffany Hayes of Connecticut.

The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place on Friday, April 6, 2012, and will honor winners, All Americans, and the Legends of Coaching honoree Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The Women’s John R. Wooden Award winner will be announced at the Gala event.

About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976 and named after the Hall of Fame player, coach and teacher, 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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.  Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Blake Griffin (’09), and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ’11).

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. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s 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 the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Gala.

Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com or liking the Wooden Award Facebook page. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or email at woodenaward@laac.net.

2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Ballot

Name  

Ht.

Yr.

Pos.

University Conference
Elena Delle Donne

6-5

Jr.

F/G

Delaware CAA
Skylar Diggins

5-9

Jr.

G

Notre Dame Big East
Brittney Griner*

6-8

Jr.

C

Baylor Big 12
Tiffany Hayes

5-10

Sr.

G

Connecticut Big East
Shenise Johnson

5-11

Sr.

G

Miami ACC
A’dia Mathies

5-9

Jr.

G

Kentucky SEC
Chiney Ogwumike

6-3

So.

F

Stanford Pac-12
Nnemkadi Ogwumike*#

6-2

Sr.

F

Stanford Pac-12
Samantha Prahalis

5-7

Sr.

G

Ohio State Big Ten
Odyssey Sims

5-9

So.

G

Baylor Big 12
Shekinna Stricklen

6-2

Sr.

G/F

Tennessee SEC
Alyssa Thomas

6-2

So.

F

Maryland ACC
Elizabeth Williams

6-3

Fr.

C

Duke ACC
Riquna Williams

5-7

Sr.

G

Miami ACC
Julie Wojta

6-0

Sr.

G/F

Green Bay Horizon

 

(Players listed alphabetically)

*indicates player was 2011 Wooden Award All American
#indicates player was 2010 Wooden Award All American


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