ATLANTA -- The University of Oklahoma’s center, Courtney Paris, has been named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) National Player of the Month for December. It marks the third time she has earned the award in two seasons. She is only player in the four year history of the honor that has won it on three occasions.
Paris averaged 24.6 points per game, 16.8 rebounds per game, and 3.3 block shots per game, including a school record 43 point, 25 rebound effort against New Mexico, during the month of December. Paris’ scoring and rebound frenzy led the Sooners (12-1, 2-0) to a 5-1 record during the month. The sophomore received National Player of the Month last season for the months of March (2006) and shared the December (2005) honor with Michigan State University’s Liz Shimek. The Sooners are currently ranked #7 in the USA TODAY ESPN Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
Paris leads the Big 12 Conference and OU in scoring and rebounding, and is ranked in the top three in the nation in both statistical categories, averaging 22.7 points per game and 15.5 rebounds per game. Paris’ outstanding play has placed her among the top 25 players in the nation, resulting in her place ment on the 2006-2007 State Farm Wade Watch.
Last season, the sophomore center was named to the 2006 Kodak/WBCA All-America Team. She became the first player in NCAA history to record 700 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in one season. She now holds the Big 12 record for points in one season, passing Edwina Brown of Texas. Paris captured Big 12 honors being named to the All-Big 12 First Team, All-Big 12 Freshman Team and All-Big 12 Defensive Team. During the Big 12 Conference tournament, Paris grabbed a tournament record and school record of 26 rebounds in the finals. She was also named MVP of the Big 12 Conference Championships, making her the first freshman to earn these honors. In addition, Paris was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
The award is voted on by a panel of media members.
Also nominated: Jessica Smith, Stony Brook (America East); Kamesha Hairston, Temple (Atlantic 10); Lindsey Harding, Duke (Atlantic Coast Conference) ; Angel McCoughtry, Louisville (Big East); Mandy Morales, Montana (Big Sky); Alisha Dill, Coastal Carolina (Big South); Allyssa DeHaan, Michigan State (Big Ten); LaJoyce King, Cal State Northridge (Big West); Meredith Alexis, James Madison (Colonial Athletic); Carmen Guzman, UAB (Conference USA); Nicole Soulis, UW-Green Bay (Horizon League); Shaunna Ambrose, Niagara University (Metro Atlantic); Carrie Moore, Western Michigan (Mid-American); Amber Bland, North Carolina A&T (Mid-Eastern); Kristi Cirone, Illinois State (Missouri Valley); Julie Briody, University of New Mexico (Mountain West); Chinata Nesbit, Robert Morris (Northeast); Joi Scott, Murray State (Ohio Valley); Cameo Hicks, University of Washington (Pac-10); Liz Hayes, American (Patriot League); Sylvia Fowles, LSU (SEC); Alex Anderson, Univ. of Tenn. - Chattanooga (Southern); Caronica Randle, Central Arkansas (Southland); Shelita Burns, Jackson State University (Southwestern Athletic); Chrissy Givens, Middle Tennessee (Sun Belt); Amanda Rego, San Diego (West Coast); Katie Madison, Idaho (Western Athletic).
WBCA National Player of the Month is based on achievements during the respective month for nomination. All nominations must come from the conference office and the player’s head coach must be a member of the WBCA.
Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.