Ohlde, Wecker Among John R. Wooden Award Top 20 Candidates List

LOS ANGELES Kansas State’s Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker were named to the first-ever Midseason All-American Team for the inaugural John R. Wooden Women’s Award Thursday.

Composed of the top 20 players who are expected to make a run for this year’s player of the year award, the midseason list is based on individual player performance and team records midway through the women’s college basketball season. Kansas State and Texas lead the way as the only teams with two nominated candidates. Duke’s Alana Beard, Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante, Stanford’s Nicole Powell, Connecticut’s Diana Taurasi and Minnesota’s Lindsay Whalen are also among the top 20 players in contention for the award.

In March, the Wooden Award Committee will pare the list down to an official voting ballot consisting of approximately 15 players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0. Over 200 voters, comprised of sports media members and women’s college basketball experts across the nation, will then cast their votes for the five-member All-American team and Wooden Award honor as the most outstanding female college basketball player.

The 2004 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Team, the inaugural Women’s Wooden Award and the presentation of the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on Saturday, April 10, 2004, and will be broadcast live on a CBS telecast. The top five women’s candidates will be invited to Los Angeles for the Awards ceremony, and each finalist will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university’s general scholarship fund.