Four Pac-10 Women's Basketball Players Named Wooden Award Preseason Candidates

Aug. 20, 2009

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Four Pac-10 women's basketball players, two from STANFORD and one each from ARIZONA and CALIFORNIA, were among the 30 players named to the John R. Wooden Award preseason candidate list, which was released today. The Cardinal is one of four teams with two representatives on the list.

Stanford's senior forward/center Jayne Appel (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) and teammate junior guard Jeanette Pohlen (Brea, Calif.), along with senior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (Oakland, Calif.) from California, and Arizona's junior forward Ify Ibekwe (Carson, Calif.) were on the preseason list. The prestigious honor is presented to the nation's top collegiate women's basketball player in April at the 34th Annual Wooden Award ceremony.

Appel is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year and was named an All-American by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), Associated Press and United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Several other publications also tabbed her an All-American. Gray-Lawson and Ibekwe were first-team All-Pac-10 picks and Honorable Mention AP All-Americans last year. Ibekwe was the only player in the Pac-10 to average a double-double. Gray-Lawson helped Cal advance to its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16.

Pohlen was a second team All-Pac-10 honoree last year. Appel and Pohlen led the Cardinal to its second-straight trip to the NCAA Women's Final Four after capturing the Pac-10 regular-season and tournament titles.

Appel, Gray-Lawson and Pohlen were also named to the WBCA's State Farm Wade Trophy preseason watch list, which was announced last month. The WBCA natonional player of the year honor is selected by the nation's women's basketball coaches.

The list is comprised of student-athletes who, based on last year's performance and team records, are the frontrunners for the national player of the year honor. Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball.The women's category was added in 2004. The Award 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.

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