Griner leads list of 30 still in running for Naismith Player of the Year honors
ATLANTA -– Baylor’s Brittney Griner once again finds herself among the top-30 candidates under consideration for the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year award, and looks to become only the sixth woman to win back-to-back Women’s Naismith trophies. Previous winners to accomplish the feat include Seimone Augustus (2005, '06), Diana Taurasi (2003, '04), Chamique Holdsclaw (1998, '99), Dawn Staley (1991, '92) and Cheryl Miller (1984, '85, '86). The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the entire list of 30 candidates. Delaware senior Elena Delle Donne, the nation’s leading scorer in 2012 and the 2008 Naismith High School Girls' Player of the Year, joins Griner among the top 30.
The top-30 candidates were selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances during this year’s college basketball season. In late March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will narrow down the pack to four finalists. The Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded to one female athlete on April 8, 2013, in New Orleans, La.
For the ninth consecutive year, fans will have the opportunity to text their votes for the player of their choice and help determine the 2013 Naismith Trophy winner. Voting will open to fans on March 25. Presenting sponsor AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, enabling even more fans to participate.
A handful of strong programs contribute multiple candidates on this year’s top-30 list. Uconn leads the way with four players (Stefanie Dolson, Kelly Faris, Bria Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who won the 2011 Naismith Trophy as a senior in high school). Notre Dame (Skylar Diggins, High School Naismith Trophy in 2009, and Kayla McBride), Baylor (Griner and Odyssey Sims), Duke (Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams), Maryland (Tianna Hawkins and Alyssa Thomas) and Penn State (Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas) boast two players each.
Notable Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year winners include Holdsclaw, Lisa Leslie, Rebecca Lobo and Tina Charles. The Naismith women’s Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the women’s college basketball player of the year.
|Alex Bentley||Guard||Penn State||Sr.|
|Kelsey Bone||Center||Texas A&M||Jr.|
|Elena Delle Donne||Forward||Delaware||Sr.|
|Skylar Diggins||Guard||Notre Dame||Sr.|
|Tayler Hill||Guard||Ohio State||Sr.|
|Maggie Lucas||Guard||Penn State||Jr.|
|Kayla McBride||Guard||Notre Dame||Jr.|
|Ebony Rowe||Forward||Middle Tennessee St.||Jr.|