L.A. Athletic Club Announces Mens' and Womens' Wooden Award Candidates
2010 Wooden Award recipient Evan Turner of Ohio State signs autographs for young fans at L.A. Athletic Club.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — College basketball season has not yet hit full swing, but the Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its 30 male candidates and 20 female candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. Considered college basketball's most prestigious honor, the award is given annually to America's top male and female college basketball players.
The award, which was created in 1976, isn't only about prestige. Every year at the L.A. Athletic Club, the award partners with Special Olympics Southern California to host a day-long tournament that takes place on the Friday before the Wooden Awards ceremony.
While the candidates come from teams all over the country, Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State, Jasmine Dixon of UCLA, and Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen of Stanford earned nods for their California teams.
Returning male players include MVP of the 2010 Final Four Kyle Singler of Duke University and All-Mountain West Conference player Jimmer Fredette of BYU. Returning female players are 2009 award winner Maya Moore of Connecticut, Dawn Evans of James Madison and Jantel Lavender of Ohio State.
The 35th annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include a special tribute to Coach Wooden and Wooden Award founder Duke Llewellyn, as well as the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, will take place the weekend of April 8-10, 2011, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.