Polk Named Preseason Candidate for the State Farm Wade Trophy

Aug. 25, 2003

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ATLANTA, Ga. - Diana Taurasi, Alana Beard, Nicole Powell and Kelly Mazzante are among the list of pre-season candidates for the 2003 - 2004 State Farm Wade Trophy and NCAA Division I Player of the Year honors. Beth Bass, CEO of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today.

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 27th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. This most prestigious award, regarded as 'The Heisman of Women's Basketball', is organized by the WBCA in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).

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

'We are extremely proud to produce for the first-time ever, The State Farm Wade Trophy pre-season list, which boasts the most talented women's basketball players in the nation,' said WBCA CEO, Beth Bass. 'This year's State Farm 'Wade Watch' will once again be competitive and full of excitement.'

The pre-season candidates for The State Farm Wade Trophy, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

The State Farm 'Wade Watch'
2003-04 Pre-Season Candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy

Augustus, Seimone - Louisiana State
Batteast, Jacqueline - Notre Dame
Beard, Alana - Duke
Benningfield, Jennifer - Vanderbilt
Bjorklund, Tera - Colorado
Brunson, Rebekkah - Georgetown
Carey, Jamie - Texas
Chones, Kaayla - North Carolina State
Christon, Shameka - Arkansas
Ely, Shyra - Tennessee
Hoffman, Ebony - Southern California
Johnson, Temeka - Louisiana State
Jones, Chandi - Houston
Kublina, Ieva - Virginia Tech
Lillis, Jennie - Iowa
Mazzante, Kelly - Penn State
McCarville, Janel - Minnesota
Mendiola, Giuliana - Washington
Moore, Loree - Tennessee
Ohlde, Nicole - Kansas State
Perkins, Jia - Texas Tech
Polk, Shawntinice - Arizona
Pondexter, Cappie - Rutgers
Powell, Nicole - Stanford
Schreiber, Heather - Texas
Smith, Kim - Utah
Stephens, Stacy - Texas
Taurasi, Diana - Connecticut
Teamer, Brandi - Virginia
Thomas, Christi - Georgia
Tillis, Iciss - Duke
Wecker, Kendra - Kansas State
Whalen, Lindsay - Minnesota
White, Tan - Mississippi State
Wright, Shereka - Purdue

Last year's State Farm Wade Trophy recipient was Diana Taurasi (University of Connecticut). 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), Jennifer Azzi (1990), Rebecca Lobo (1995), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), in addition to; two-time winner Nancy Lieberman (1979 and 1980) and Cheryl Miller (1985).

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 in all of its aspects as an amateur sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit our website at WBCA.org.

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