Monday, April 07, 2008

Candace Parker wins Naismith Award

TAMPA, FLORIDA — With her team looking to capture a second straight national championship, Tennessee junior forward Candace Parker was named the winner of the women’s Naismith Award on Monday.

A finalist last year, the 6-4 Parker edged out Louisiana State’s Sylvia Fowles, Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris and Stanford’s Candice Wiggins for the award that recognizes the top college player in the country.

On Tuesday, the Volunteers (35-2) face Stanford in the title game.

Parker, who announced in January that she would skip her senior at Tennessee to play in the WNBA, is the Volunteers’ leading scorer (20.6) and rebounder (8.8).

“Candace has enjoyed a tremendous season and career at Tennessee, and the college game will miss her dearly,” said Gary Stokan, president of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, which presents the women’s Naismith Award.

Parker returned from a dislocated shoulder to help lead Tennessee to a 53-45 victory over Texas A&M in the Oklahoma City Regional final.

Despite playing with the injury, Parker recorded 13 points and 15 rebounds in Tennessee’s 47-46 win over LSU in the national semifinals on Sunday.

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