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ATLANTA – The State Farm Wade Trophy Committee along with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) announced the 12 finalists in contention for The State Farm Wade Trophy.

“I look forward to announcing the 12 finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy each year as it honors the best-of-the best, and this year is no exception,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “This group of young women has a unique blend of talent on the court and despite their limited time, they also serve as positive role models to those in their communities. We want to applaud them for all they do.”

The candidates were selected by a vote of committee members comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators. Members of the committee will select the winner of The State Farm Wade Trophy from the 10-member Division I State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team and will be announced at the State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team Press Conference and The State Farm Wade Trophy Announcement during the WBCA National Convention on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 9:45 a.m. CT.

“State Farm is extremely proud to recognize and congratulate these 12 outstanding athletes as finalists for the 2009 State Farm Wade Trophy”, said Pam El, Marketing Vice President for State Farm. “Their dedication and commitment epitomize the true meaning of student-athlete and they are all very deserving of this great honor”.

The State Farm Wade Trophy Finalists:

Player Name Institution Year Position
Jayne Appel Stanford Univ. Jr. C
DeWanna Bonner Auburn Univ. Sr. G
Tina Charles Univ. of Connecticut Jr. C
Marissa Coleman Univ. of Maryland Sr. G/F
Jantel Lavender Ohio State Univ. Soph. C
Angel McCoughtry Univ. of Louisville Sr. F
Renee Montgomery Univ. of Connecticut Sr. G
Maya Moore Univ. of Connecticut Soph. F
Courtney Paris Univ. of Oklahoma Sr. C
Kristi Toliver Univ. of Maryland Sr. G
Ashley Walker Univ. of California, Berkeley Sr. F
Monica Wright Univ. of Virginia Jr. G

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 32nd year, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. This most prestigious award, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball”, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women’s national player of the year award in college basketball.

Last year’s State Farm Wade Trophy winner was Stanford’s Candace Wiggins. 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), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002) and Diana Taurasi (2003). Seimone Augustus (2005 and 2006) and Nancy Lieberman (1979 and 1980) are the award’s only two-time recipients.

The Wade Trophy Coalition was established in June of 2000 when the WBCA partnered with The National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS). For the past six years the two have worked together to present The State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year Award. A committee comprised of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States selects the winner.

The State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be formally presented her award at the WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens on Tuesday, April 7, at Noon CT in the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront. The State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year presentation is part of the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four in St Louis, Mo.

About State Farm
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm’s 17,000 agents and 68,000 employees serve more than 78 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 32 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com or in Canada statefarm.ca.

About the WBCA
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.

Contact: Summer McKesson
Director of Communications
770.279.8027 ext. 112
smckesson@wbca.org