Stanford's Jayne Appel And Kayla Pedersen Among 21 On Wooden Award Midseason List

Jan. 13, 2010

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    STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford women's basketball standouts Jayne Appel and Kayla Pedersen were among 21 midseason candidates for the Women's John R. Wooden Award named Wednesday by The Los Angeles Athletic Club's John R. Wooden Award Committee.

    'The depth and breadth of talent in the women's game is really apparent,' said Women's John R. Wooden Award Chairman Richard 'Duke' Llewellyn. 'Many, many players received votes this year, and I am sure we will see players on the ballot who are not even on this Midseason list, as they will step up as we get into conference play.'

    Appel, an All-American center a year ago, is currently averaging 13.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game while shooting 50.7 percent from the field for the Cardinal. The Pleasant Hill, Calif. native became just the third member of Stanford's '1,000-Rebound Club' on Dec. 13 against DePaul, and entering Jan. 14's game against Washington State is just 70 rebounds short of breaking Nicole Powell's career record of 1,143.

    The senior center has put on an excellent display of her all-around game in 2009-10, having passed out 43 assists and blocked a team-leading 26 shots through the first 14 games. Appel's penchant for drawing double teams has also opened up scoring opportunities for teammates such as forwards Nnemkadi Ogwumike (19.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 64.3 FG pct.) and Kayla Pedersen (17.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg).

    Pedersen, Stanford's second representative on the Midseason list, is enjoying a career year as a junior with 17.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Adjusting to a full-time role on the perimeter as Stanford's wing, the 6-4 Pedersen is shooting 47.6 percent from the field, a mark that includes an impressive 40.0-percent success rate from behind the arc.

    She has also captured a pair of Pac-10 Player of the Week honors over the season's first two months, and was named a preseason second-team All-American.

    Just as players who are not on the preseason list are eligible for the Midseason Top 20, players who do not make the Midseason list are still eligible for the national ballot, which will be selected in March and will consist of approximately 20 players, chosen by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board Committee. Players selected to the national ballot will have to be certified by their university as making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

    The Big East leads the Midseason Top 20 with 4 players selected. The CAA and ACC each had three players selected, and the Pac-10, Big 10, SEC and Big 12 had two players each. The Sun Belt, Atlantic 10 and West Coast Conferences had one player chosen. Overall, 48 different players from 36 schools received votes.

    About the John R. Wooden Award

    The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winner, and the presentation of the Legends of Coaching Award to Florida's Billy Donovan, will take place on April 9, 2010.

    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 Blake Griffin ('09). Candace Parker (Tennessee) won the Women's Wooden Award in 2007 and 2008, and Maya Moore (Connecticut) won last year.

    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. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award's 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 all day tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All-Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award weekend.

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