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Ohio State's Evan Turner and Connecticut's Tina Charles Win 2010 Wooden Award Honors

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Saturday, April 10, 2010, at 05:45PM
IMGP9923 Ed Fuentes

Ohio State's Evan Turner signs autographs for young fans at the 34th John R. Wooden Awards ceremony, held Friday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Ohio State's Evan Turner added another trophy to a mantel crowded with honors on Friday night, taking home the 34th John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the best male and female college basketball players.

Tina Charles, center for the national champion Connecticut Huskies and the first pick in this year's WNBA draft, took home the honors on the women's side, barely edging out teammate Maya Moore, last year's award recipient.

Turner, already the Big Ten player of the year, the Associated Press player of the year, and the Naismith player of the year, was present at the Los Angeles Athletic Club to receive his award. "The other nominees are great players and great people," he told the audience. "Thank God for basketball, and thank God for everybody else."

Turner was selected over West Virginia forward Da'Sean Butler, Kansas guard Sherron Collins, Kentucky freshman point guard John Wall, and Syracuse's Wesley Johnson.

Charles, who played in the national championship game on Wednesday night, will receive her award in person this week.

44-year-old Billy Donovan from Florida received a Legends of Coaching award, becoming the youngest coach to win the honor.

Earlier in the afternoon, it was the student athletes who got to test their coaching skills at the annual Athletic Club Special Olympics tournament.

"I was struck by the passion they have for the game," Johnson said to the audience before the awards were announced. Smiling, he glanced over to Turner, whom he coached against in a first round loss. "Except as a coach I'm 0-and-2."

It's may not be easy for a Wooden Award winner either. During the ceremony, sports broadcaster and former Los Angeles Laker Tommie Hawkins introduced 2009 award winner Blake Griffin by asking how his health was. A bit later, he teased Griffin again by saying that no one sat next to him because he is, after all, a Clipper.


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