Three Named Senior CLASS Award Candidates

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Three Pac-12 women's basketball players were named candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in women's basketball, the award committee announced Friday. USC guard Briana Gilbreath, OREGON forward Amanda Johnson and STANFORD forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike were among the 60 candidates on the list.

Gilbreath became the first Trojan since 1997 to be named an Associated Press All-American, earning honorable mention notice in 2011. She became the 22nd player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points while leading USC in scoring, rebound-ing, steals and blocks as a junior. Gilbreath is a two-time All-Pac-10 and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team selection. A human per-formance major with a minor in health promotion and nutrition, Gilbreath hopes to become a sports nutritionist. She has a 3.11 GPA and earned Pac-10 All-Academic second team recognition last season. Passionate about outreach, Gilbreath has volun-teered with Habitat for Humanity, Dribble for a Cure, Highways and Byways and numerous other community organizations. She is also actively involved with the Trojan Athletic Senate and Fresh Faith at USC.

Johnson enters her senior year in the top 10 of four all-time statistical categories (rebounds, steals, 3-pointers, double-doubles) at Oregon. Last season, she became just the ninth player in UO history, and the first since 2002, to reach the 1,000-point threshold. For the last two seasons, Johnson was a Pac-10 honorable mention selection after finishing third in the Conference in both scoring (15.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.3 rpg) as a junior. Johnson was named to the 2011 Capital One/CoSIDA Academ-ic All-America first team last year, becoming only the second player in program history and first since 1990 to earn first team honors. She is currently earning a master's degree in Counseling Psychology and Human Services with a 4.16 GPA after gradu-ating summa cum laude with a double major in psychology and sociology after her sophomore year in 2010. Johnson is actively involved O Heroes, the athletic department's student-run service organization. She is also practicing clinical work at a local Eu-gene non-profit.

Ogwumike has already put together one of the most decorated resumes in Stanford history. She is Stanford's seventh multiple-time WBCA Coaches' All-American, earning her second selection to the All-America team in 2011. Ogwumike was also named to the AP All-America second team in 2010 and 2011. She is on pace to become just the fourth player in Stanford history to record 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds in her career. Ogwumike led the Conference with 17.5 points per game and a 58.6 shooting percentage in 2010-11. She averaged 23.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in postseason play as the Cardinal reached its fourth-straight Final Four. A psychology major with a 3.12 GPA, Ogwumike is on pace to graduate in June. She and her teammates have worked with numerous community organizations, including Operation Christmas Child, St. Anthony's Church and the Ronald McDonald House.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the winner during the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four, which will be held April 1 and 3 in Denver.

The 60 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists in both men's and women's basketball midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I men's and women's coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. For more information, please visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

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