Paul Named Naismith Finalist

College basketball fans can vote for Wake Forest sophomore guard Chris Paul for the recipient of the Naismith Trophy presented by Cingular Wireless, given annually to the menâ??s and womenâ??s players of the year in college basketball. Paul, Utah center Andrew Bogut, Duke guard J.J. Redick and Kansas forward Wayne Simien, were announced as the four finalists for the Trophy by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Sunday.

Thanks to Cingular Wireless, college basketball fans this year have an unprecedented voice in deciding who wins the Naismith Trophy. For the first time ever, fan voting, through the power and ease of wireless text messaging will account for 25% of the total. To participate, fans can text message PLAY to ??26222 to submit their vote (voting is open to most wireless carriers). Voting for the Naismith Trophy concludes on Saturday, April 2 at 9:00 PM EST. The Naismith Trophy College Players of the Year will be announced in St. Louis on Sunday, April 3.

Paul, who averaged 14.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game this season, was named first team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and first team All-ACC. He helped lead the Demon Deacons to a 26-5 record and second place finish in the ACC regular season standings.

Last year'??s Naismith Trophy recipient was Saint Josephâ??s University guard Jameer Nelson. Other notable menâ??s college player of the year winners include Lew Alcindor, Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Christian Laettner and Tim Duncan. For more information, visit

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