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Ibekwe Named to Wooden Award List
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/20/2009
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 20, 2009

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - All-American junior forward Ify Ibekwe was named to the 2009 John R. Wooden Preseason Women's Top 30 List, announced Thursday by chairman and founder Richard "Duke" Llewellyn.

Ibekwe, who was an Associated Press honorable mention all-American and 1st-team all-Pac-10 selection last season, is one of 31 candidates, based on last year's individual performance and team records, for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

One of only four Pac-10 players on the list, Ibekwe joins a highly-touted list that includes 2009 Wooden Award winner Maya Moore of Connecticut, Pac-10 Player of the Year Jayne Appel of Stanford and two-time Big 10 Player of the Year Jantel Lavender of Ohio State.

Ibekwe enters her third season with the Wildcats coming off an impressive sophomore campaign that saw her average team-leading totals of 15.7 points and 11.6 rebounds while tallying 60 steals, 52 blocked shots and connecting on 109 free throws.

Ibekwe finished the season three rebounds of shy of the Arizona single-season record of 339 held by the late Shawntinice Polk, a mark she likely would have surpassed were it not for an ankle injury that sidelined her for two games.

Arizona tips off its season in New Rochelle, New York on Saturday, November 15 against Iona in the first game of the Iona Tip-Off Tournament.

In late December, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 15 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

The Women’s Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round during the NCAA Tournament.

The 34th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 9-11, 2010.

About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. The women’s category was added in 2004. The Award is bestowed upon the nation’s best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (‘79), Michael Jordan (‘84), Tim Duncan (‘97), Alana Beard (‘06) and Blake Griffin (‘09). Candace Parker won the Women’s Wooden Award in 2007 and 2008.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host a day-long basketball tournament. The tournament brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All-Americans in a setting that exemplifies the spirit of competition.

Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5206 or email at woodenaward@laac.net.

2009-10 John R. Wooden Award Women's Preseason Top 30 List

Name

Height

Class

Position

University

Conference

Jayne Appel

6-4

Sr.

F/C

Stanford

Pac-10

Erica Beverly

6-0

Sr.

F

Hartford

America East

Angie Bjorklund

6-0

Jr.

G/F

Tennessee

SEC

Heather Bowman

6-2

Sr.

F

Gonzaga

West Coast

Jessica Breland*

6-3

Sr.

F

North Carolina

ACC

Tina Charles

6-4

Sr.

C

Connecticut

Big East

Alysha Clark

5-10

Sr.

F

Middle Tennessee

Sun Belt

Allyssa DeHaan

6-9

Sr.

C

Michigan State

Big Ten

Tyra Grant

5-11

Sr.

G

Penn State

Big Ten

Alexis Gray-Lawson

5-8

Sr.

G

California

Pac-10

Allison Hightower

5-10

Sr.

G

Louisiana State

SEC

Ashley Houts

5-6

Sr.

G

Georgia

SEC

Ify Ibekwe

6-1

Jr.

F

Arizona

Pac-10

Jantel Lavender

6-4

Jr.

C

Ohio State

Big Ten

Gabriela Marginean

6-1

Sr.

F

Drexel

CAA

Danielle McCray

5-11

Sr.

G/F

Kansas

Big 12

Nicole Michael

6-2

Sr.

F

Syracuse

Big East

Jacinta Monroe

6-4

Sr.

F/C

Florida State

ACC

Maya Moore  #$

6-0

Jr.

F

Connecticut

Big East

Jené Morris

5-9

Sr.

G

San Diego State

Mountain West

Dierdre Naughton

5-10

Sr.

G

DePaul

Big East

TaShia Phillips

6-6

Jr.

C

Xavier

Atlantic 10

Jeanette Pohlen

6-0

Jr.

G

Stanford

Pac-10

Samantha Prahalis

5-7

So.

G

Ohio State

Big Ten

Andrea Riley

5-5

Sr.

G

Oklahoma State

Big 12

Danielle Robinson

5-9

Jr.

G

Oklahoma

Big 12

Jenna Smith

6-3

Sr.

C

Illinois

Big Ten

Ashley Sweat

6-2

Sr.

F

Kansas State

Big 12

Carolyn Swords

6-6

Jr.

C

Boston College

ACC

Courtney Vandersloot

5-8

Jr.

G

Gonzaga

West Coast

Monica Wright

5-11

Sr.

G

Virginia

ACC

Arizona Women's Basketball
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