March 8, 2002
Los Angeles - Arizona juniors Luke Walton and Jason Gardner are among 20 student-athletes on the official ballot for the John R. Wooden Award as the nation's player of the year, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced yesterday.
The 26th annual Wooden Award will be presented to the college basketball player of the year on Sunday, April 7th during a Fox Sports Net telecast live from the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
Arizona is among four schools leading the way with two nominations apiece. Others are Kansas (Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich), Maryland (Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter) and Duke (Jason Williams and Mike Dunleavy).
Walton was among four players not on the mid-season top 30 list but added later for candidacy, joining Hollis Price of Oklahoma, Hinrich of Kansas, Frederick Jones of Oregon and Erwin Dudlesy of Alabama.
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, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, and Shane Battier.