Banham Named to Wade Award Watch List

Oct. 8, 2013

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - University of Minnesota junior guard Rachel Banham is among 25 collegiate women's basketball players, including just three from Big Ten Conference schools, to be listed on the preseason "watch list" for the annual Wade Trophy, as announced today by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

A First Team All-Big Ten selection and WBCA Honorable Mention All-American as a sophomore, Banham is one of just six non-seniors on the list. She enters her third season at Minnesota with 1,243 career points, which ranks 14th on the Gophers' all-time scoring list and is 151 points ahead of the total all-time leading scorer Lindsay Whalen scored in her first two seasons.

Now in its 37th year, The Wade Trophy is named in honor of the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. Regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," the award is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.

Banham averaged 20.7 points last season, which is the third-highest 2012-13 scoring average among the 25 players on the Wade Award watch list. Banham's career point total also leads the four juniors on the list, as she holds a four-point edge on Connecticut junior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (1,239 points).

A native of Lakeville, Minn. (Lakeville North HS), Banham recorded five 30-plus point games last season, which included torching Creighton for a career-high 39 points. She tallied three 30-point games during a four-game stretch of Big Ten contests from Jan. 28 to Feb. 7.

The other Big Ten players to make the list are Penn State senior guard Maggie Lucas and Nebraska senior forward Jordan Hooper. Maryland, which will join the Big Ten beginning in 2014-15, had senior forward Alyssa Thomas make the list.

Minnesota has had eight players named as Wade Award finalists, most recently Janel McCarville in 2004-05. The Gophers' Carol Ann Shudlick received the Wade Award following the 1993-94 season.

Defending national champion Connecticut leads all schools with four players on the 25-member preseason list. Four teams - California, Duke, Notre Dame and Tennessee - are represented by two players each.

The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women's basketball players who best embody Wade's spirit from 18 different institutions and seven conferences. A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team, and overall playing ability.

The Atlantic Coast Conference placed six players on the 2013-14 preseason list, followed by the American Athletic Conference with five, the Southeastern Conference with four, the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences with three each, and the Big 12 Conference and Conference USA with two players each.

Here is the complete list of preseason candidates for the 2014 Wade Trophy in alphabetical order:

Player

Institution

Position

Year

Natalie Achonwa

Notre Dame

Forward

Senior

Rachel Banham

Minnesota

Guard

Junior

Brittany Boyd

California

Guard

Junior

Gennifer Brandon

California

Forward

Senior

Jerica Coley

FIU

Guard

Senior

Stefanie Dolson

Connecticut

Center

Senior

Aaryn Ellenberg

Oklahoma

Guard

Senior

Bashaara Graves

Tennessee

Forward

Sophomore

Chelsea Gray

Duke

Guard

Senior

Bria Hartley

Connecticut

Guard

Senior

Jordan Hooper

Nebraska

Forward

Senior

Maggie Lucas

Penn State

Guard

Senior

Tyaunna Marshall

Georgia Tech

Guard

Senior

Kayla McBride

Notre Dame

Guard

Senior

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis

Connecticut

Forward

Junior

Chiney Ogwumike

Stanford

Forward

Senior

Theresa Plaisance

LSU

Forward

Senior

Ebony Rowe

Middle Tennessee

Forward

Senior

Shoni Schimmel

Louisville

Guard

Senior

Meighan Simmons

Tennessee

Guard

Senior

Odyssey Sims

Baylor

Guard

Senior

DeNesha Stallworth

Kentucky

Forward

Senior

Breanna Stewart

Connecticut

Forward

Sophomore

Alyssa Thomas

Maryland

Forward

Senior

Elizabeth Williams

Duke

Center/Forward

Junior

About the NAGWS
The National Association for Girls and Women in Sport was established to develop and deliver equitable and quality sport opportunities for ALL girls and women through relevant research, advocacy, leadership development, educational strategies, and programming in a manner that promotes social justice and change.

About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit WBCA.org.