Nnemkadi Ogwumike Named Pac-10 Player Of The Year; Rosalyn Gold-Onwude Takes Home Pac-10 Co-Defender Of The Year
March 11, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike put yet another exclamation point on her breakout sophomore season Thursday, being named Pac-10 Player of the Year as the conference announced its postseason awards. Redshirt senior guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude was also honored, earning a share of the Pac-10 Defender of the Year award.
Ogwumike's selection is the first of her career, the third straight for a Stanford player and the conference-leading 14th time overall that a Cardinal athlete has earned the Pac-10's most coveted individual prize. Gold-Onwude also becomes Stanford's first Defensive Player of the Year honoree.
'I am very honored to have been selected Pac-10 Player of the Year,' Ogwumike said. 'I could not have earned this accolade without the help of my teammates, and now we are setting our sights on the postseason and what has been our singular goal from the start of this season, winning a national championship.'
The 2009-10 season has been a memorable one for Ogwumike, who stepped into the starting forward position for the Cardinal and quickly established herself as one of the team's top options. Tuesday, the Cypress, Texas native was named the Pac-10 media's Player of the Year, and Wednesday was named to the All-Pac-10 Team.
Through the end of the regular season, Ogwumike leads the Pac-10 in scoring (18.2 ppg) and field goal percentage (63.8), while sitting third with 9.4 rebounds per game.
Ogwumike, a candidate for the Wade Trophy Player of the Year award and the John R. Wooden Award, posted 10 double-doubles this season, highlighted by a career day on Jan. 23 at Oregon when she scored 30 points and grabbed a Stanford single-game record 23 rebounds. Her 14 20-point performances and 26 games scoring in double figures also lead the Cardinal.
Gold-Onwude, a fifth-year senior from Queens, N.Y., became Stanford's first defensive award recipient, sharing the honor with USC's Briana Gilbreath. The redshirt senior established herself as one of the Pac-10's top defenders this season, helping the Cardinal keep many of the Pac-10's most talented and high-scoring guards in check and contributing to Stanford's Pac-10-leading figures in scoring defense (54.3 ppg), field goal percentage defense (33.9) and three-point field goal percentage (26.1).
Wednesday, Gold-Onwude was named to the All-Pac-10 Defensive Team, as well as All-Pac-10 honorable mention.
Arizona's Davellyn Whyte was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and UCLA's Nikki Caldwell was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year to round out the individual conference honors on Thursday.
Stanford will open Pac-10 Tournament play Friday afternoon at 1:15 p.m., taking on the winner of Thursday night's play-in game between Arizona and Washington State.