Kapono Named As Preseason Candidate For Naismith Award

Oct. 22, 2002

ATLANTA, GA - UCLA's Jason Kapono, a finalist last season for the Naismith Player of the Year Award, Kansas' Nick Collison, Arizona's Jason Gardner and Luke Walton and Xavier's David West head the list of men's pre-season candidates for the 2002-2003 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Awards. Vanderbilt's Chantelle Anderson, Duke's Alana Beard, Connecticut's Diana Taurasi and Mississippi State's LaToya Thomas are leading the women's pre-season candidates. Jackie Bradford, President of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, announced the candidates 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.'

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

2002-03 Pre-Season Naismith Candidates

Male Candidates

Mario Austin, MississippiState
Troy Bell, BostonCollege
Steve Blake, Maryland
Keith Bogans, Kentucky
Matt Bonner, Florida
Nick Collison, Kansas
Brian Cook, Illinois
Erwin Dudley, Alabama
Chris Duhon, Duke
Andre Emmett, TexasTech
T.J. Ford, Texas
Reece Gaines, Louisville
Jason Gardner, Arizona
Jarvis Hayes, Georgia
Kirk Hinrich, Kansas
Josh Howard, WakeForest
Jason Kapono, UCLA
Brandin Knight, Pittsburgh
Chris Marcus, Western Kentucky
Brett Nelson, Florida
Hollis Price, Oklahoma
Darius Rice, Miami- FL
Rick Rickert, Minnesota
Luke Ridnour, Oregon
Mike Sweetney, Georgetown
Chris Thomas, Notre Dame
Dwayne Wade, Marquette
Luke Walton, Arizona
Travis Watson, Virginia
David West, Xavier

Female 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, LouisianaTech
Vanessa Hayden, Florida
Caton Hill, Oklahoma
Ebony Hoffman, USC (CA)
Nicole Ohlde, KansasState
Gwen Jackson, Tennessee
Temeka Johnson, LSU
Kara Lawson, Tennessee
Kelly Mazzante, PennState
Jocelyn Penn, USC (SC)
Nicole Powell, Stanford
Alicia Ratay, Notre Dame
Aiysha Smith, LSU
Stacy Stephens, Texas
Brianne Stepherson, BostonCollege
Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
Brandi Teamer, Virginia
LaToya Thomas, MississippiState
Iciss Tillis, Duke
Kendra Wecker, KSU
Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota
Lindsey Wilson, IowaState
Shereka Wright, Purdue

Last year's Naismith Award recipients were Jason Williams (DukeUniversity) and Sue Bird Universityof 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.

Please visit our website at www.naismithawards.com for more information on our awards.

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