Los Angeles (March 30, 2011) – The John R. Wooden Award Men’s and Women’s All American teams were announced today by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Selected to the women’s team were five players: 2009 Wooden Award winner Maya Moore of Connecticut; Gonzaga point guard Courtney Vandersloot; Baylor sophomore Brittney Griner; and Stanford’s duo of Jeanette Pohlen and Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who is a two-time selection.
The ten-player men’s team includes Jimmer Fredette, BYU; Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame; JaJuan Johnson, Purdue; Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State; Marcus Morris, Kansas; Jacob Pullen, Kansas State; Nolan Smith, Duke; Jared Sullinger, Ohio State; Kemba Walker, Connecticut; and Derrick Williams, Arizona.
All five women’s team members, and the top 5 men’s vote-getters, are invited to Los Angeles for the April 8 announcement of the 2011 John R. Wooden Award winner as the college basketball player of the year. The presentation of the John R. Wooden Award Trophy will be made as part of the Wooden Award Gala at 6 p.m. that day.
Voters include nearly 1,000 members of the media who cover men’s and women’s college basketball. Women’s voters selected and ranked five players from the 20 athletes listed on the ballot; voters on the men’s side selected and ranked 10 players. All players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Voters were asked to take into account performance during the regular season and postseason through the Sweet Sixteen (for women) or Elite Eight (for men), as well as a player’s character and academic performance, essential components of an outstanding player.
Fredette is the only player returning from the 2010 Wooden Award ballot on the men’s side. Hailing from the Mountain West Conference, he averaged a nation-leading 28.9 points while taking the Cougars to the Sweet 16. Leonard (15.2 points, 10.8 rebounds) is the first player from a Southern California school to be honored since UCLA’s Kevin Love in 2008, and is the second Aztec ever chosen to a Wooden All American team; Michael Cage made the team in 1984. Coincidentally, the last BYU player to make the team was also in 1984, Devin Durrant.
Walker is the only men’s Wooden Award All American who will be in the Final Four, having led UConn to the West Regional title last weekend. He ranks fifth nationally in scoring (23.1 points). He joins Notre Dame senior Ben Hansbrough, whose brother, Tyler, won the Wooden Award in 2009, as the two Big East representatives on the team. Pullen (20.2 points) and Morris were both chosen from the Big 12 Conference. Pullen is Kansas State’s all-time leading scorer and led his team in 12 statistical categories in 2011. Morris led Kansas in scoring at 17.2 points per game, and was named to the NCAA Southwest Region All Tournament team on Sunday.
Duke’s Smith and Arizona’s Williams are each their conference’s lone representatives. The ACC Player of the Year, Smith finished the season averaging an ACC-leading 20.6 points and 5.1 assists, while Williams (19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds) was the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson (20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds) was the Big Ten Player of the Year. Sullinger was the only freshman chosen to the team, after leading the Buckeyes to a No. 1 seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
Moore is only the second four-time All American pick in the history of the Award; Courtney Paris of Oklahoma achieved the feat from 2006-09. Moore has led the Huskies to another Final Four trip and a fourth straight Big East title, averaging 22.5 points (8th nationally), 8.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists. There have been two two-time Wooden Award winner on the women’s side, LSU’s Seimone Augustus (2005, 2006) and Tennessee’s Candace Parker (2007, 2008).
Ogwumike (17.0 ppg, 7.6 rebounds) is now a two-time Wooden All American (2010, 2011), and her impressive performances include 23 points and 11 rebounds in Stanford’s Elite Eight win over Gonzaga, garnering her West Regional MVP honors. In taking her team to its first-ever Elite Eight appearance, Vandersloot (19.8 ppg, nation-leading 10.2 assists) is the first women’s player from the West Coast Conference to earn Wooden All American honors; on the men’s side Adam Morrison was the last Bulldog selected, in 2006.
The 6-8 Griner is the first men’s or women’s Wooden All American from Baylor. She has led the Bears in scoring (23.0 ppg, No. 5 in the nation), and rebounds (7.8), including a 40-point effort against Wisconsin Green Bay in the Sweet 16. Pohlen (14.6 ppg, 4.1 assists, 90.4% FT) was the Pac-10 Player of the Year, taking the Cardinal to its fourth straight Final Four in her four years at Stanford. This marks the second straight year that two Stanford players were chosen to the Wooden All American team; in 2010, Jayne Appel and Ogwumike were selected.
The 35th John R. Wooden Award Presentation Gala will be held on April 8 at The Los Angeles Athletic Club, 431 W. Seventh Street in Los Angeles. In addition to honoring the Wooden All American teams, the “Legends of Coaching” Award will be presented to Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo, who led the Spartans to their 14th straight NCAA Tournament appearance this year. The final vote tally will be released that night as well. Tickets are $125 and may be obtained by calling The Los Angeles Athletic Club at (213) 630-5231; the event always sells out. For up to date information on all of the Wooden Award candidates, please go to www.woodenaward.com.
The winners will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university’s general scholarship fund.
About the John R. Wooden Award
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), Blake Griffin (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09). Ohio State’s Evan Turner and Connecticut’s Tina Charles won the Award in 2010.
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 American 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 tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the morning after the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5206 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.