The top five finalists for the Women's Wooden Award include Wecker, LSU's Seimone Augustus, Duke's Monique Currie, Ohio State's Jessica Davenport and Minnesota's Janel McCarville. All have accepted invitations to Los Angeles for the 29th Annual Wooden Award Ceremony where the trophy for this season's top women's college basketball player of the year will be presented on Saturday, April 9 during a national CBS telecast of the "John R. Wooden Award Show Presented by TIAA-CREF" live from The Los Angeles Athletic Club at noon (CT).
"As a finalist for the Wooden Award, Kendra has distinguished herself as one of the college game's greatest female players," Kansas State head Coach Deb Patterson said. "One of the most prestigious individual honors in basketball is to have your name recognized in affiliation with this award and with one of the game's all-time greatest coaches, John Wooden. Kendra Wecker is a young woman Coach Wooden would have taken great pride in coaching. In being selected to this elite group of Wooden Award finalists, Kendra and her tremendous achievements have become a part of college women's basketball history."
A panel of over 200 voters comprised of sports media members and women's college basketball experts from around the nation 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 performance, essential components of an outstanding player in the eyes of Coach John Wooden, the Award's namesake.
The 2005 All-American Team consists of two seniors, two juniors and one sophomore. Four conferences are represented on the All-American squad with the Big Ten leading the way with two players, followed by the ACC, Big 12 and SEC, with one nominated player.
Augustus led the SEC in scoring (20.1 ppg) while shooting 55 percent from the field en route to guiding the Lady Tigers to a second consecutive trip to the Final Four. Duke's Currie had a stellar year (17.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg) that included vaulting the Blue Devils to a share of the ACC title and a tournament run to the Elite Eight. Ohio State's Davenport stepped into the national spotlight this season after leading the Buckeyes to a share of the Big Ten title. Minnesota's McCarville was named a 2005 All-Big Ten First Team selection while leading the Gophers in points (16.0 ppg), rebounds (10.6 rpg), assists (3.7 apg) and steals (2.2 spg).
Not to be outdone, Wecker finished her season as the Big 12's career scoring leader with 2,333 career points and became only the second league player ever to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. She also averaged a conference-leading 21.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season and was named Big 12 Player of the Year for the first time of her career.
The 2005 award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and Legends of Coaching Award recipient Jim Calhoun of the University of Connecticut, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on Saturday, April 9 and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast. The top five male and female finalists invited to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony, will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund for their university's general scholarship fund.