DeShields, McDaniel Named On Wooden Award Preseason List
The list 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.
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.
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.