Sept. 5, 2002

Norman, Okla. - The NCAA announced earlier this week that Oklahoma's Stacey Dales -Schuman, a former women's basketball player, was the winner of the state NCAA Woman of the Year Award and becomes a finalist for the 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year honors that will be announced on Nov. 2 in Indianapolis, Ind. The award honors outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in academics, athletics and community leadership and have completed their collegiate athletics eligibility.

Of the 50 state finalists, 12 competed on national championship teams. More than 20 were selected as athletic All-Americans. Nearly 45 served as their team captains or co-captains. Two competed in the Olympics and seven received NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. Twenty-two represented their fellow student-athletes on their campus student-athlete advisory committees. Dales-Schuman achieved each of these honors.

She becomes one of only five Sooners to win the NCAA State Woman of the Year Award. Other Sooner state honorees were Janel Hayes (track & field) in 2001, Phylesha Whaley (basketball) in 2000, Meredith Van Horn (volleyball) in 1999 and Jenny Bramer (track and field) in 1997. Not since Rebecca Lobo in 1995 has a women's basketball player won the national award.

More than 340 student-athletes were nominated for this year's award by their colleges and universities. A committee comprised of representatives from member schools selected the state winners. Jacqie McWilliams, assistant athletics director, Morgan State University, chaired the selection committee.

Dales-Schuman recently competed her first season as a WNBA player with the Washington Mystics. En route to earning WNBA All-Star honors as a rookie, she averaged 9.8 points, 2.7 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. She also shot an impressive 40.4 percent from the field, 39.4 from the arc and 74.0 from the foul line. The Mystics' point guard, who was the third overall and first pick by Washington in this year's WNBA draft, played in 31 games and started 28 for the franchise.

While at OU, Dales-Schuman guided the women's basketball program to a NCAA national runner-up finish and a No. 2 national ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls during the 2001-02 season. She also helped produce a school best overall record of 32-4 and a program best four-year record of 99-32 (76% winning percentage). Oklahoma has won three Big 12 regular-season titles, made three NCAA Sweet 16s, won one Big 12 Tournament crown and regional championship plus appeared in the program's first Final Four since Dales-Schuman joined the women's basketball program.

Dales-Schuman, a two-time consensus Kodak and AP All-American (2001, 2002), became the most decorated women's basketball player to ever wear a Crimson-and-Cream jersey. The Brockville, Ontario, native ended her career ranked 23rd on the NCAA all-time assists list with an OU record 764. She averaged 17.0 points and 5.0 assists per game as a senior. The 6-0 guard was named to the Big 12, NCAA West Regional and NCAA Final Four All-Tournament teams.

The state-level winners include 27 student-athletes from Division I, 12 student-athletes from Division II and 11 student-athletes from Division III. These student-athletes participated in 16 of the 19 sports in which women compete for NCAA championships, including basketball, field hockey, rowing and soccer.

A national winner - the NCAA Woman of the Year - will be selected by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics from among 10 finalists. The finalists will be announced in mid-September. The national winner will be announced at the 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year dinner November 2 at the Westin Hotel in Indianapolis. This is the 12th year that this award - one of the top honors the NCAA bestows - will be given. Other past winners include: 2000 - Kristy Kowal, an Olympic gold medal swimmer from the University of Georgia; 1999 - Jamila Demby, track and field, University of California, Davis; 1998 - Peggy Boutilier, lacrosse and field hockey, University of Virginia; 1997 - the late Lisa Ann Coole, swimming, University of Georgia; 1996 - Billie Winsett Fletcher, volleyball, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; 1995 - Rebecca Lobo, basketball, University of Connecticut; 1994 - Tanya Hughes Jones, track and field, University of Arizona; 1993 - Nnenna Jean Lynch, cross country and track and field, Villanova University; 1992 - Catherine Byrne Maloney, swimming, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and 1991 - Mary Beth Riley-Metcalf, cross country, Canisius College.