Jayne Appel Named To John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 30

Nov. 5, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford forward/center Jayne Appel was named to the list of 30 preseason candidates for the 2008-09 John R. Wooden Award and the Wooden Award All-American Team, Richard 'Duke' Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder, announced Wednesday. The list is composed of 30 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

Wednesday's announcement marks the second straight year in which Appel has been named to the Wooden Award's preseason Top 30.

Last season, Appel played a major role in Stanford's 35-4 performance and national runner-up finish. The junior scored 15.4 points per game, grabbed a team-leading 8.8 rebounds a game and shot 58.8 percent from the floor, a mark that ranked eighth in the nation.

Appel, a State Farm/WBCA All-America finalist last season, was an All-Pac-10 selection and twice honored as Pac-10 Player of the Week for her performance. She posted 12 double-doubles on the year and set a new school single-season record with 84 blocked shots in 2007-08.

Appel is one of three Pac-10 candidates on the list, joined by California's Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker. Gonzaga's Heather Bowman is the only other player from the West Coast on the list.

Two of the candidates selected to this year's preseason list were honored in 2007-08 as members of the 2008 Women's Wooden Award All-American Team, including three-time All-American Courtney Paris of Oklahoma and Connecticut's Maya Moore. In addition, five other 2008-09 preseason nominees were named to the women's Wooden Award National Ballot last year, including Tina Charles (Connecticut), Angel McCoughtry (Louisville), Epiphanny Prince (Rutgers), Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State) and Kristi Toliver (Maryland).

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for January's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March.

'I am pleased to see so many players returning from last season's ballot,' said Llewellyn. 'I am sure Courtney Paris hopes it will be her year. Certainly to be named an All-American four times would be a tremendous honor in itself and with all the amazing talent across the country, this is going to be a memorable season.'

The breadth of talent across the country is shown by the number of NCAA Division I schools (25) and conferences (10) highlighted on the list. The Big East boasts eight candidates, followed by the ACC (5), Big 12 (4), Pac-10 (3), SEC (3), Atlantic 10 (2), Big Ten (2), Conference USA (1), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (1) and the West Coast Conference (1).

Connecticut leads the way as the only program with three players on the preseason list: (Moore, Charles and Renee Montgomery), followed by Maryland (Toliver and Marissa Coleman), California (Devanei Hampton, Ashley Walker) and Rutgers (Prince, Kia Vaughn) with two. In total, 17 seniors, 10 juniors and three sophomores were selected to the Preseason Top 30 List.

In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Women's Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the 'Elite Eight' round during the NCAA Tournament.

The 33rd annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award to Rick Barnes from The University of Texas, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club in April, 2009.

About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), and last year's recipients, Kevin Durant of Texas and Candace Parker of Tennessee ('07 and '08).

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients as well as sent over 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the awards name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All-Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.

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