Two Pac-10 Women's Players Among Preseason Naismith Candidates

Oct. 21, 2002

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Two Pac-10 women's basketball players - USC's Ebony Hoffman and Stanford's Nicole Powell - have been named to the list of women's preseason candidates for the 2003 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award, Jackie Bradford, President of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, announced today.

The Naismith Awards program, now in its 35th year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball.

The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. Members of the board were asked to name top male and female players who are most likely to be in contention for the award.

'Both the men's and women's fields, from top to bottom, are extremely talented,' said Bradford. The race for the Naismith Award will once again be very competitive and exciting.

Hoffman, a 6-2 forward/center from Harbor City, Calif., enters her third season with the Women of Troy. In 2002 she led the team with 8.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 2.4 steals per game and was selected to the All-Pac-10 first team. As a freshman, she led the team in scoring (12.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg) and was named a 2001 Freshman All-American by Basketball Times and Women's Basketball Journal.

Powell, a 6-2 forward from Phoenix, Ariz., was a Naismith National Player of the Year Finalist and Kodak First Team All-American after her sophomore campaign in 2001-02. She became the first player in Pac-10 men's or women's basketball history to win both the Conference assist and rebounding titles either overall or in the same season. She was also named the 2001-02 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year.

The pre-season candidates for the Naismith Awards, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

2002-03 Pre-Season Naismith Candidates
Chantelle Anderson, Vanderbilt
Jacqueline Batteast, Notre Dame
Alana Beard, Duke
Kara Braxton, Georgia
Coretta Brown, North Carolina
Shameka Christon, Arkansas
Crissy Floyd, Clemson
Catrina Frierson, Louisiana Tech
Vanessa Hayden, Florida
Caton Hill, Oklahoma
Ebony Hoffman, USC
Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State
Gwen Jackson, Tennessee
Temeka Johnson, LSU
Kara Lawson, Tennessee
Kelly Mazzante, Penn State
Jocelyn Penn, South Carolina
Nicole Powell, Stanford
Alicia Ratay, Notre Dame
Aiysha Smith, LSU
Stacy Stephens, Texas
Brianne Stepherson, Boston College
Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
Brandi Teamer, Virginia
LaToya Thomas, Mississippi State
Iciss Tillis, Duke
Kendra Wecker, KSU
Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota
Lindsey Wilson, Iowa State
Shereka Wright, Purdue

Last year s Naismith Award recipients were Jason Williams (Duke University) and Sue Bird (University of Connecticut). The first recipient of the male Naismith Award was Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) of UCLA in 1969. Other college player of the year recipients include many NBA standouts such as Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Christian Laettner. The women's Naismith Award, first presented in 1983 to Anne Donovan of Old Dominion, includes recipients such as three-time winner Cheryl Miller of USC, two-time honorees Clarissa Davis of Texas, Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee and Dawn Staley of Virginia.

You can find more information at www.naismithawards.com.

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