Courtney Paris Earns Third Wooden Honor

LOS ANGELES -- Oklahoma's Courtney Paris was one of five college women's basketball players named a Wooden Award finalist by Wooden Award Chairman Richard "Duke" Llewellyn at the Los Angeles Athletic Club Wednesday.

Paris, a Wooden Award finalist for a third straight season, was joined by 2007 Wooden Award winner Candace Parker of Tennessee, Sylvia Fowles of LSU, Maya Moore of Connecticut and Candice Wiggins of Stanford.

"It's an honor to be considered in such elite company," Paris said, "and not just for this year's team. To be among all the players who have been Wooden All-Americans and to embody what Coach Wooden represents is truly a special honor."

The five finalists, who also earn the distinction of Wooden All-Americans, were all members of The Associated Press Women's All-America First Team announced Tuesday.

Paris is the first three-time Wooden All-American.

The nation's rebounding leader at 15.0 per game, Paris averaged 18.6 points, 3.5 blocks and shot 56.1 percent from the field. The Piedmont, Calif., native was the only Division I player to rank among the top 25 individuals in all four categories.

More than 300 voters, comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from around the nation, chose the finalists. Voters were asked to take into account performance during the regular season and postseason through games last Sunday, as well as a player's character and academic performance, essential components of an outstanding player in the eyes of Coach John Wooden. All players on the Wooden All-America team were certified by their schools as maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

The Wooden All-American team features two seniors, two juniors and one freshman. Moore is the first freshman selected to the team since Paris in 2006. Conferences represented are the SEC, with two players, and the Pac-10, Big 12 and Big East each with one.

The five Wooden Award All-Americans will be invited to Los Angeles for the Wooden Award Gala, to be held April 11, 2008, at the Los Angeles Downtown Sheraton Hotel.

The Los Angeles Athletic Club will make a contribution to the general scholarship fund of each finalist's university.