March 30, 2011
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. -- The historic year for Gonzaga University women's basketball senior Courtney Vandersloot continued Wednesday as the point guard was named to the John R. Wooden Award All America Team. Vandersloot is the first women's player in Bulldog history and West Coast Conference history to earn Wooden All American honors.
"I am humbled to make this exclusive list and thank the Wooden Award for this prestigious honor," stated Vandersloot, who Tuesday was named second team Associated Press All-America. "It is an honor to be recognized among these four other outstanding players. I do have to thank my coaches and teammates as I wouldn't be the player I am today without them."
Vandersloot joins 2009 Wooden Award winner Maya Moore of Connecticut; Baylor sophomore Brittney Griner; and Stanford's duo of Jeanette Pohlen and Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who is a two-time selection.
Vandersloot closed out a stellar career as a Zag Monday leading the Bulldogs to their first-ever Elite Eight appearance. The Kent, Wash., native was the darling of the NCAA Tournament, averaging 29.3 points, 10.0 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 steals during the Zags four-game run and was named to the Spokane Regional All-Tournament team.
Vandersloot became the first player in NCAA Division I history, men's or women's, to score 2,000 points and pass out 1,000 assists, ending her career with 2,073 points and 1,118 assists. Vandersloot also broke the NCAA single-season assist record this season, which stood since 1987, as she ended the year with 367.
All five members are invited to Los Angeles for the April 8 announcement of the 2011 John R. Wooden Award winner as the college basketball player of the year. The presentation of the John R. Wooden Award Trophy will be made as part of the Wooden Award Gala at 6 p.m. that day.
Voters include nearly 1,000 members of the media who cover women's college basketball. Women's voters selected and ranked five players from the 20 athletes listed on the ballot. All players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Voters were asked to take into account performance during the regular season and postseason through the Sweet Sixteen, as well as player's character and academic performance, essential components of an outstanding player.
The last Zag men's player to make the Wooden Award All America team was Adam Morrison in 2006.
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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Blake Griffin ('09), and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09). Ohio State's Evan Turner and Connecticut's Tina Charles won the Award in 2010.
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 tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the morning after the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5255 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Courtesy of GU Athletics