March 14, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The John R. Wooden Award Women's Ballot was announced Thursday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club President Steve Hathaway, and Tennessee junior basketball player Meighan Simmons is among the 15 players on that prestigious list.
The Wooden Award All-America Team, consisting of the nation's top five players, will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament. The John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year will be announced at the 2013 Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy's on April 12, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.
Hundreds of members of the college basketball media will vote on the Wooden Award Player of the Year and All-America Team from March 18 through March 27, 2013.
Simmons has averaged a career-high 17.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while averaging 42.8% from the field, 38.1% from three-point land and 84.0% from the free throw line. Simmons, who became the 37th Lady Vol to join the 1,000-point scorer's list this season, was named SEC Co-Player of the Year and All-SEC First Team.
A key catalyst in Tennessee's regular season SEC championship, 24-7 record and top-10 national ranking, Simmons also is a Naismith College Player of the Year finalist and is on the State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List.
Other players on the ballot include Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut), Chelsea Gray (Duke), Brittney Griner (Baylor), Tianna Hawkins (Maryland), Maggie Lucas (Penn State), A'dia Mathies (Kentucky), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Connecticut), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Odyssey Sims (Baylor), Alyssa Thomas (Maryland) and Elizabeth Williams (Duke).
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), former Lady Vol Candace Parker ('07 and '08), Kevin Durant ('09) and Maya Moore ('09 and `11).
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-America 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 Gala.
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