NORMAN, Okla. -- Sophomore center Courtney Paris was named to the Wade Trophy Preseason List on Friday morning. The Sooner All-American is among 25 players on the list.
Paris averaged 21.9 points and 15.0 rebounds as a freshman in 2005-06. She was a consensus All-American and a finalist for the Wooden and Naismith awards. As a freshman last season, Paris was not eligible for the Wade Trophy.
Last season Paris led OU (31-5) to the Big 12 regular season and postseason championships. The Sooners also reached the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in program history.
The 25 student-athletes represent eight (8) NCAA Division I conferences as the Atlantic Coast Conference leads the way with eight (8). The Pacific-10 and the Southeastern Conference tied for second, each having four (4). The Big East follows with three (3), and the Big Ten and Big 12 each have two (2). The Sun Belt and Conference USA each have one (1) player represented.
The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 29th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. This highly prestigious award, regarded as the "Heisman of Women's Basketball", is organized by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).
For the past two years, The State Farm Wade Trophy recipient was Seimone Augustus (Louisiana State University), who is only the second Wade Trophy recipient to receive the award twice. The other two-time winner was Nancy Lieberman (1979 and 1980). 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), Jennifer Azzi (1990), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003) and Cheryl Miller (1985).
The 2007 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced during the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four in Cleveland, Ohio, March 30-April 3, 2007.