Jan. 18, 2014
University of Minnesota junior guard Rachel Banham has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Women's Midseason Top 20, as announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list, which is selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, is made up of 20 student-athletes who are the front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious award based on their individual performances and team records. Banham is one of three Big Ten players on the list, joining Nebraska's Jordan Hooper and Penn State's Maggie Lucas.
A native of Lakeville, Minn., Banham leads the Big Ten and ranks 14th nationally with a 22.5 points-per-game average, while also ranking eighth in the NCAA with a .472 three-point field goal percentage and 382 total points on the season. Additionally, Banham leads the Big Ten with 11 20-point performances and three 30-point performances this year, and ranks in the top-10 in the league in free throw percentage (.864), three-point field goals made (2.9) and assist turnover ratio (1.7).
Banham continues to make her mark in Minnesota's record books, as well, as the junior ranks seventh on the Gophers' career scoring register with 1,625 points. Banham currently ranks first all-time at Minnesota with a .862 free throw percentage and a .400 three-point field goal percentage, while sitting in third with 80 games in double figures and a 19.1 career points per game scoring average. The guard also moved into the top 10 in assists Thursday night at Nebraska, as she now boasts 282 career assists.
The 38th annual Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy's will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners the weekend of April 11-13. It will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-America Teams and will recognize the Legends of Coaching Award recipient Tara VanErveer of Stanford.
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education Who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Candace Parker ('07 and '08), Maya Moore ('09 and '11) and Brittney Griner ('12 and '13).
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long basketball camps in the Award's name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympics athletes and the All Americans, take place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by logging on to www.WoodenAward.com. For More information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gophers (12-6, 1-3) conclude their two-game road swing Sunday afternoon in a 1:00 p.m. CT showdown at Indiana (14-3, 1-3).
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