Los Angeles (October 23, 2013)— The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its John R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30 today, which is comprised of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national college women’s basketball media members.
Two Wooden All American return to the team from a year ago, Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike and Baylor point guard Odyssey Sims. Ogwumike was the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2012-13, averaging 22.4 points and 12.9 rebounds. Sims enters her senior season ranking No. 2 all time at Baylor in both assists (469) and three point shooting (.405). Both players hope to lead their teams to top national finishes in 2013-14.
Players not chosen to the preseason team are eligible for both the midseason team and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players, will be announced the week of the Final Four.
Connecticut boasts four players on the preseason Top 30 list: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Bria Hartley, Stefanie Dolson, and Breanna Stewart, all of whom played key roles in the school’s title run in 2013. Other names of note include Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel, who made her mark on the national scene with an impressive performance in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and Florida International’s Jerica Coley, the country’s top scorer a year ago at 26.3 points per game.
The ACC led all conferences with nine selections, followed by the Pac-12 and newly formed American Athletic Conference with five; the SEC with four; the Big 12 and Big Ten with three; and Conference USA with one. In addition to Connecticut, five other schools had multiple players chosen: Duke (Elizabeth Williams, Chelsea Gray, Tricia Liston); California (Brittany Boyd, Gennifer Brandon); Notre Dame (Kayla McBride, Natalie Achonwa); Tennessee (Bashaara Graves, Meighan Simmons); and North Carolina (Diamond DeShields, Xylina McDaniel).
About the John R. Wooden Award
The 38th annual Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy’s will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners the weekend of April 11-13, 2014. It will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and will recognize the Legends of Coaching Award recipient Tara VanDerveer of Stanford.
Created in 1976, 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), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Maya Moore (’09 and ’11) and Brittney Griner (’12 and ’13).
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 ceremony.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or email at [email protected].
2013-14 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 List, Women
Natalie Achonwa/6-3/Sr./F/Notre Dame/ACC
Rachel Banham/5-9/Jr./G/Minnesota/Big Ten
Hallie Christofferson/6-3/Sr./F/Iowa State/Big 12
Jerica Coley/5-8/Sr./G/FIU/Conference USA
Diamond DeShields/6-1/Fr./G/North Carolina/ACC
Stefanie Dolson/6-5/Sr./C/UConn/The American
Aaryn Ellenberg/5-7/Sr./G/Oklahoma/Big 12
Bria Hartley/5-8/Sr./G/UConn/The American
Jordan Hooper/6-2/Sr./F/Nebraska/Big Ten
Tricia Liston/6-1/Sr./G Duke/ACC
Maggie Lucas/5-10/Sr./G Penn State/Big Ten
Xylina McDaniel/6-2/So./F/North Carolina/ACC
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis/6-0/Jr./F/UConn/The American
Shoni Schimmel/5-6/Jr./G/Louisville/The American
Odyssey Sims#/5-8/Sr./G Baylor/Big 12
Breanna Stewart/6-4/So./F/UConn/The American
Alyssa Thomas/6-2/Sr./F Maryland/ACC
(Based on a preseason poll. Players listed alphabetically.)
# indicates player chosen to the 2013 Wooden Award All American Team