PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers rising junior Cappie Pondexter (Chicago, IL) has been named one of 35 candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy and NCAA Division I Player-of-the-Year honors, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has announced.
The first-ever women’s college national player-of-the-year award, the Wade Trophy was first handed out in 1978. Nominees are selected from the pool of the 2002-2003 Kodak/WBCA All-America Team, and are voted on by a committee of coaches, journalists and basketball administrators. This award, regarded as the “Heisman of Women’s Basketball,” is organized by the WBCA in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports (NAGWS).
Pondexter, also named a preseason candidate for the Wooden Award earlier this month, led Rutgers with 18.3 points and 4.9 assists per game during her rookie campaign, adding 5.1 rebounds per contest to rank second for the Scarlet Knights. An honorable-mention Associated Press and Kodak/WBCA All-American as well as the 2003 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, she also was the first rookie in conference history to earn a spot on the All-BIG EAST First Team. One of 12 finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which honors the top point guard in Division I women’s basketball, Pondexter also was a member of the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team. Earlier this month, she helped lead the United States to a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship for Young Women in Sibenik, Croatia. One of the team’s co-captains as well as the starting point guard this summer, Pondexter has spent the last four summers playing with the 21-and-under U.S. team.
Pondexter is one of 13 non-seniors to be named a candidate for the Wade Trophy, and one of five BIG EAST Conference players to be included on the list.
Rutgers engineered the most dramatic turnaround in Division I this past season, improving from 9-20 in 2001-2002 to 21-8 and a trip to the 2003 NCAA Tournament’s second round.
State Farm Wade Trophy/Division I Player of the Year Preseason Candidates
Louisiana State University
Batteast, Jacqueline University of Notre Dame Junior
Beard, Alana Duke University Senior
Benningfield, Jennifer Vanderbilt University Senior
Bjorklund, Tera University of Colorado Junior
Brunson, Rebekkah Georgetown University Senior
Carey, Jamie University of Texas Senior
Chones, Kaayla North Carolina State University Senior
Christon, Shameka University of Arkansas Senior
Ely, Shyra University of Tennessee Junior
Hoffman, Ebony University of Southern California Senior
Johnson, Temeka Louisiana State University Senior
Jones, Chandi University of Houston Senior
Kublina, Ieva Virginia Tech Senior
Lillis, Jennie University of Iowa Senior
Mazzante, Kelly Penn State University Senior
McCarville, Janel University of Minnesota Junior
Mendiola, Giuliana University of Washington Senior
Moore, Loree University of Tennessee Junior
Ohlde, Nicole Kansas State University Senior
Perkins, Jia Texas Tech University Senior
Polk, Shawntinice University of Arizona Sophomore
Pondexter, Cappie Rutgers University Junior
Powell, Nicole Stanford University Senior
Schreiber, Heather University of Texas Junior
Smith, Kim University of Utah Sophomore
Stephens, Stacy University of Texas Senior
Taurasi, Diana University of Connecticut Senior
Teamer, Brandi University of Virginia Junior
Thomas, Christi University of Georgia Senior
Tillis, Iciss Duke University Senior
Wecker, Kendra Kansas State University Junior
Whalen, Lindsay University of Minnesota Senior
White, Tan Mississippi State University Junior
Wright, Shereka Purdue University Senior