Saturday, March 31, 2007

Parker wins Wade Trophy, Kodak All-America honors

CLEVELAND -- The games haven't even begun, but three players who will compete in this weekend's Final Four already have emerged as winners.

Tennessee sophomore Candace Parker, North Carolina senior Ivory Latta and LSU junior Sylvia Fowles were each named Kodak All- Americans for the second consecutive season on Saturday as the women's Final Four festivities opened in Cleveland.

Parker also was awarded the Wade Trophy, which is given annually to the best women's college basketball player in the nation. Parker is the first sophomore to win Wade honors and just the second Lady Volunteer to win the award, joining Daedra Charles Furlow (1991).

Parker's Lady Vols play Latta's Tar Heels in one semifinal Sunday night (ESPN, 9 ET). Fowles' LSU Lady Tigers take on Rutgers in the other semifinal (ESPN, 7 ET).

Parker, who has led top-seeded Tennessee to its 17th Final Four, is the fastest player in school history to top 1,000 career points and was the unanimous SEC player of the year. The 6-foot-4 guard/forward/center, who last season became the first player to dunk in the women's NCAA Tournament, is averaging 19.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks

"I am incredibly honored," Parker said. "I want to thank my coaches, teammates and family, because if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be standing here today. I am so blessed."

Parker, who also won the U.S. Basketball Writers Association national player of the year award Saturday, was one of three sophomores on the 2007 Kodak All-America team, joining Okahoma's Courtney Paris and Louisville's Angel McCoughtry.

Ohio State senior Jessica Davenport and Stanford junior Candice Wiggins were named three-time Kodak All-Americans. Paris also earned the honor for the second year in a row, while first-time honorees included McCoughtry, Duke senior Lindsey Harding, Maryland junior Crystal Langhorne and Mississippi senior Armintie Price.

The Kodak All-America team began in 1975. Beginning in 2007-08, State Farm will replace Kodak as the title sponsor.

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