UT duo nominated for Naismith

Lady Vol seniors Gwen Jackson (Eufaula, Ala.) and Kara Lawson (Alexandria, Va.) are among 30 preseason candidates for the 2002-03 Naismith College Women's Basketball Player of the Year award.

Jackson, a 6-2 forward from Eufaula High School, was voted to the NCAA Midwest Regional All-Tournament Team. She also led Tennessee into the NCAA Final Four by pacing the team in both scoring (18 points) and rebounding (12 boards) during the 68-63 triumph over archrival Vanderbilt in the Midwest Regional Final.

Jackson posted season highs in points with 28 against Georgia State, assists with three against Arkansas, steals with five against Florida and blocks with three against Auburn.

Lawson, a 5-9 guard from West Springfield High School, was selected to the USBWA All-America Team, the AP All-SEC First Team, Coaches All-SEC First Team and the 2002 SEC All-Tournament Team last season. She also became the 26th player in Lady Vol history to score 1,000 points in her career.

Lawson posted season highs in points with 30 against Arkansas, rebounds with 13 against DePaul, assists with nine against Old Dominion, steals with five against LSU and blocks with one against Notre Dame.

Now in its 35th year, the Naismith Awards program honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors composed of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts.

Naismith candidates are as follows:

Chantelle Anderson, Vanderbilt
Jacqueline Batteast, Notre Dame
Alana Beard, Duke
Kara Braxton, Georgia
Coretta Brown, North Carolina
Shameka Christon, Arkansas
Crissy Floyd, Clemson
Catrina Frierson, Louisiana Tech
Vanessa Hayden, Florida
Caton Hill, Oklahoma
Ebony Hoffman, Southern Cal
Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State
Gwen Jackson, Tennessee
Temeka Johnson, LSU
Kara Lawson, Tennessee
Kelly Mazzante, Penn State
Jocelyn Penn, South Carolina
Nicole Powell, Stanford
Alicia Ratay, Notre Dame
Aiysha Smith, LSU
Stacy Stephens, Texas
Brianne Stepherson, Boston College
Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
Brandi Teamer, Virginia
LaToya Thomas, Mississippi State
Iciss Tillis, Duke
Kendra Walker, Kansas State
Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota
Lindsey Wilson, Iowa state
Shereka Wright, Purdue

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