April 2, 2003
NORMAN, Okla. - After tallying the ballots of more than 1,000 voters, the Wooden Award Committee today announced the 10-player John R. Wooden Award All-American team -- a squad that features Oklahoma senior guard Hollis Price. The 27th annual Wooden Award will be presented to the college basketball player of the year on Saturday, April 12 during a CBS telecast live from the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
The top five vote getters and their coaches will be invited to Los Angeles to participate in Wooden Award weekend activities, serve as honorary coaches at the Inner-City Games Basketball Tournament and attend the live telecast and the Wooden Award Banquet. The top five Wooden Award All-Americans, in alphabetical order, are Nick Collison, T.J. Ford, Price, Dwyane Wade and David West.
"All 10 players should be highly commended for their efforts this season," said Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, founder and chairman of the Wooden Award. "We feel extremely proud to have each of these young men representing the Wooden Award All-American team."
Each of the 10 players is being honored for the first time as a Wooden Award All-American selection. Collison and Kirk Hinrich make Kansas the only team with multiple All-Americans. On the shoulders of the Longhorns, Sooners and Jayhawks, the Big 12 boasts four players on the All-American squad, and the Big East follows with two players. The ACC, Atlantic 10, Conference USA, and Pac 10 each have one.
The All-American team is made up of seven seniors (Collison, Jason Gardner, Hinrich, Josh Howard, Brandin Knight, Price and West), one junior (Wade) and two sophomores (T.J. Ford and Emeka Okafor). Four players (Collison, Ford, Hinrich and Wade) have led their teams to this weekend's Final Four in New Orleans.
More than 1,000 media members and college basketball experts submitted their votes over the past three weeks. Voters were asked to select 10 players from the 22 student-athletes listed on the official ballot and rank them from one to 10. Because of the later due date, an element exclusive to the Wooden Award, voters were afforded the luxury of taking NCAA Tournament play into consideration. Voters also made their selections based on each player's character and academic performance, essential components to an outstanding player in the eyes of the award's namesake.
The top five finalists will receive a contribution from the John R. Wooden Award Scholarship Fund in their name to their university's general scholarship fund. The Wooden Award scholarship fund was established in 2002 by Applied Materials and corporate partners through the California Community Foundation (CCF) to honor Coach Wooden's dedication as an educator. The scholarship fund distributed a total of $75,000 to five universities last year, enabling 23 deserving students to pursue their educational goals.
The 2003 Award ceremony, including the introduction of the Wooden Award All-American team and the presentation of the Legends of Coaching Award to University of Kansas Coach Roy Williams, will be held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Saturday, April 12.
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 university that he is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Michael Jordan ('84), Larry Bird ('79), Tim Duncan ('97) and last year's recipient, Jason Williams ('02).
2002-2003 Wooden Award All-American Team
Nick Collison 6'9" Sr. F Kansas T.J. Ford 5'10" So. G Texas Jason Gardner 5'10" Sr. G Arizona Kirk Hinrich 6'3" Sr. G Kansas Josh Howard 6'6" Sr. F Wake Forest Brandin Knight 6'0" Sr. G Pittsburgh Emeka Okafor 6'9" So. F/C Connecticut Hollis Price 6'1" Sr. G Oklahoma Dwyane Wade 6'4" Jr. G Marquette David West 6'9" Sr. F Xavier