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Aug. 25, 2006

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today its preseason “Wade Watch” list for The State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year for the 2006-2007 season. The list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are members of an NCAA Division I institution and are selected based on the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability. The national awards committee who selects these candidates is comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators.

“The State Farm Wade Trophy preseason list is a tribute to women’s college basketball and American higher education as we celebrate the 35th year of Title IX’s passing. The leadership and the skill level these talented young women represent speaks volumes about what access to quality coaching and the opportunity to participate and compete have meant to a generation of women who carry on the tradition of excellence in the spirit of Coach Lily Margaret Wade,” said Jeanne Lenti Ponsetto, Chair of The State Farm Wade Trophy Committee and Athletic Director at DePaul University. “It’s an outstanding roster and one that will have folks cheering all across the country for another year of highly charged women’s college basketball.”

Nineteen institutions are represented by these 25 student-athletes who have been selected for the preseason “Wade Watch”. Duke University (Alison Bales and Lindsey Harding), University of North Carolina (Erlana Larkins and Ivory Latta) and Stanford University (Brooke Smith and Candice Wiggins) each have two players selected. The University of Maryland, the 2006 NCAA Division I National Champions, has an unparalleled representation on the preseason list with four student-athletes (Marissa Coleman, Shay Doron, Crystal Langhorne and Kristi Toliver).

The 25 student-athletes represent eight (8) NCAA Division I conferences as the Atlantic Coast Conference leads the way with eight (8). The Pacific-10 and the Southeastern Conference tied for second, each having four (4). The Big East follows with three (3), and the Big Ten and Big 12 each have two (2). The Sun Belt and Conference USA each have one (1) player represented. Quite a few of this year’s preseason candidates are no stranger to the “Wade Watch” list. Out of the 25 student-athletes, nine were represented last year on The State Farm Wade Trophy Preseason list including Jessica Davenport (Ohio State), Shay Doron (Maryland), Sylvia Fowles (LSU), Tasha Humphrey (Georgia), Tiffany Jackson (Texas), Crystal Langhorne (Maryland), Erlana Larkins (UNC), Ivory Latta (UNC) and Candice Wiggins (Stanford).

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 29th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women’s national player of the year award in college basketball. This highly prestigious award, regarded as the “Heisman of Women’s Basketball”, is organized by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).

For the past two years, The State Farm Wade Trophy recipient was Seimone Augustus (Louisiana State University), who is only the second Wade Trophy recipient to receive the award twice. The other two-time winner was Nancy Lieberman (1979 and 1980). The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many WNBA standouts, such as Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), Jennifer Azzi (1990), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003) and Cheryl Miller (1985).

The 2007 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced during the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Cleveland, Ohio, March 30-April 3, 2007.

2006-2007 The State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Preseason List

The preseason candidates for The State Farm Wade Trophy, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Name Year Pos. Institution 1. Matee Ajavon Junior G Rutgers University 2. Alison Bales Senior C Duke University 3. Marissa Coleman Sophomore G/F University of Maryland 4. Jazz Covington Senior C University of Louisville 5. Jessica Davenport Senior C The Ohio State University 6. Jessica Dickson Senior F University of South Florida 7. Shay Doron Senior G University of Maryland 8. Sylvia Fowles Junior C Louisiana State University 9. Katie Gearlds Senior G/F Purdue University 10. Lindsey Harding Senior G Duke University 11. Tasha Humphrey Junior F University of Georgia 12. Tiffany Jackson Senior F University of Texas 13. Crystal Kelly Junior F Western Kentucky University 14. Crystal Langhorne Junior C/F University of Maryland 15. Erlana Larkins Junior F University of North Carolina 16. Ivory Latta Senior G University of North Carolina 17. Eshaya Murphy Senior G University of Southern California 18. Courtney Paris Sophomore C University of Oklahoma 19. Candace Parker Sophomore F University of Tennessee 20. Armintie Price Senior G University of Mississippi 21. Noelle Quinn Senior G UCLA 22. Jillian Robbins Senior F University of Tulsa 23. Brooke Smith Senior C Stanford University 24. Kristi Toliver Sophomore G University of Maryland 25. Candice Wiggins Junior G Stanford University

Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women’s basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For additional information about the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.

Courtesy – Women’s Basketball Coaches Association WBCA Communications