ATLANTA (March 24, 2016) – The Wade Trophy Committee, along with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), announced today the 15 finalists in contention for The Wade Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA® Division I women’s basketball player.
The candidates were selected by a vote of committee members consisting of leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators. The committee will select the winner of The Wade Trophy from among these 15 finalists who also are named to the 10-member WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Team when it is chosen in April. The WBCA will officially announce The Wade Trophy winner during the WBCA Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Indianapolis.
“The WBCA applauds these outstanding student-athletes for being named finalists for women’s basketball’s highest honor, the Wade Trophy,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “These finalists have demonstrated excellence on the basketball court, in addition to a commitment to academics, sportsmanship, and ethical conduct. They captivated national audiences with their talent throughout the season and have left their mark on our game. We honor these individuals, their teams, and coaches.”
The Wade Trophy Finalists are as follows:
|Alaina Coates||South Carolina||Junior||Center|
|Brittney Martin||Oklahoma State||Senior||Guard|
|Kelsey Mitchell||Ohio State||Sophomore||Guard|
|Tiffany Mitchell||South Carolina||Senior||Guard|
|Brianna Turner||Notre Dame||Sophomore||Forward|
|Courtney Williams||South Florida||Senior||Guard|
|A’ja Wilson||South Carolina||Sophomore||Forward|
The Wade Trophy, now in its 39th year, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. This most esteemed award, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball”, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball.
Last year, Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart received the prestigious award. Connecticut’s Maya Moore was the first student-athlete to win the award three consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011). The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many WNBA standouts such as Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), Seimone Augustus (2005 & 2006), Maya Moore (2009-2011) and Brittney Griner (2012 & 2013).
The WBCA purchased sole ownership and all rights to The Wade Trophy from the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America, in January 2016. The two organizations had partnered to present the prestigious award since 2000. The WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America Selection Committee determines the recipient.
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About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls.