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Wooden Award to Honor Women in 2004

April 8, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The John R. Wooden Award will be expanded in 2004 to honor the top female college basketball player in the country.

The men’s award, to be given Saturday at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, has been presented since 1976.

``There is an abundance of talent in women’s basketball, and these players deserve to be recognized for their efforts, just as the men,″ said Mike Solum, the award’s director.

The women’s Preseason All-American Team, a list of 30 contenders based on previous individual performance and team records, will be announced in August, along with the men’s list.

Next March, the award committee will name 15 players to the official ballot, based on performance and a minimum 2.0 grade-point average.

A panel of sports writers and college basketball experts will then select the five-member All-American women’s team and the Wooden Award winner.

The award is named for the former UCLA men’s coach, who led the Bruins to 10 national titles in a span of 12 years before retiring in 1975.

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