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Wooden Award | January 6, 2022

John R. Wooden Award announces women's midseason top 25 watch list

Autumn Johnson awards women's basketball midseason superlatives

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (January 5, 2022) — The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced the John R. Wooden Award® presented by Wendy’s® Midseason Top 25 Watch List today on ESPNU. Chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the 2021-22 season thus far, the list comprises of 25 student-athletes who are front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.

On the 2022 Wooden Award™ Midseason Top 25, four players make their debut on the Wooden Watch™: Mackenzie Holmes (Indiana), Aneesah Morrow (DePaul), Angel Reese (Maryland), and Jenna Staiti (Georgia). Three schools have multiple players on the list, led by South Carolina (Aliyah Boston, Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson), and followed by Stanford (Cameron Brink and Haley Jones), and Maryland (Ashley Owusu and Reese).

The SEC leads all conferences with seven selections, followed by the Big Ten with five selections, the ACC with four selections, the Big 12 and Pac-12 with three each, the Big East with two selections, and the ASUN with one selection.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year presented by Wendy’s. Players not chosen to the preseason or midseason list are still eligible for the Wooden Award™ National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the Wooden Award. Voters will rank in order 10 of those 15 players when voting opens prior to the NCAA Tournament and will allow voters to take into consideration performance during early round games. The Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2022 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April.

About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing the Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, the Wooden Award All American Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legends of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07), Candace Parker (’07; ’08), Maya Moore (’09; ’11), Chiney Ogwumike (’14), Breanna Stewart (’15 and ’16) and last year’s recipients, Paige Bueckers of Connecticut and Luka Garza of Iowa.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.

For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to www.woodenaward.com and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodenaward and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.

Wooden Award 2021-22 Midseason Top 25

Name School Conference Height Class Position

Shakira Austin

Mississippi

SEC

6-5

Sr.

C

Kierstan Bell

Florida Gulf Coast

ASUN

6-1

Jr.

G

Aliyah Boston*

South Carolina

SEC

6-5

Jr.

F

Cameron Brink

Stanford

Pac-12

6-4

Soph

F

Paige Bueckers**

Connecticut

Big East

5-11

Soph

G

Caitlin Clark

Iowa

Big Ten

6-0

Soph

G

Zia Cooke

South Carolina

SEC

5-9

Jr.

G

Lorela Cubaj

Georgia Tech

ACC

6-4

Sr.

F

Elissa Cunane

NC State

ACC

6-5

Sr.

C

Destanni Henderson

South Carolina

SEC

5-7

Sr.

G

Naz Hillmon

Michigan

Big Ten

6-2

Sr.

F

Mackenzie Holmes

Indiana

Big Ten

6-3

Jr.

F

Rhyne Howard*

Kentucky

SEC

6-2

Sr.

G

Rickea Jackson

Mississippi State

SEC

6-2

Jr.

F

Ashley Joens

Iowa State

Big 12

6-1

Sr.

G/F

Haley Jones

Stanford

Pac-12

6-1

Jr.

G

Elizabeth Kitley

Virginia Tech

ACC

6-6

Jr.

C

Ayoka Lee

Kansas State

Big 12

6-6

Jr.

C

Aneesah Morrow

DePaul

Big East

6-1

Fr.

F

Charisma Osborne

UCLA

Pac-12

5-9

Jr.

G

Ashley Owusu

Maryland

Big Ten

6-0

Jr.

G

Angel Reese

Maryland

Big Ten

6-3

Soph

F/G

NaLyssa Smith*

Baylor

Big 12

6-4

Sr.

F

Jenna Staiti

Georgia

SEC

6-4

Sr.

C

Maddy Westbeld

Notre Dame

ACC

6-3

Soph

F

*indicates player selected as 2020-21 Wooden Award All American
**indicates player selected as 2020-21 Wooden Award Winner

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