"The committee had an incredibly difficult task in narrowing down the nation’s top 30 women’s players," said Mike Solum, Director of the Wooden Award. "This list represents the elite of college basketball, and our entire team at the Wooden Award is excited to see the best players in the nation prove their case as basketball’s player of the year."
A 6-5 junior, Polk is a two-time Kodak honorable mention All-American, a two-time first team All-Pac-10 selection and a seven-time Pac-10 Player of the Week. She is Arizona’s career leader with 37 double-doubles, is first on the UA career list in rebounding average (10.5 rpg), third in scoring average (17.0 ppg), fourth in rebounds (674), seventh in minutes-played average (29.5 mpg), sixth in total field goals made (448), eighth in free throws attempted (340) and 10th in total points (1087). She was also the fastest UA player and first Wildcat sophomore to break the 1,000-point mark in career scoring.
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/her university that he/she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Michael Jordan (’84), Larry Bird (’79), Tim Duncan (’97) and last year’s inaugural women’s recipient, Alana Beard (’04).
In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 20 List, followed in March by the official voting ballot, consisting of the top 10-15 players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The 2005 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on April 9, 2005 and will be broadcast live on a national CBS telecast.