The 25-member list is made up of top NCAA Division I student-athletes who best embody the spirit of Lily Margaret Wade according to the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability.
This year's list has 19 institutions and 10 conferences represented. Tennessee led the way with three student-athletes on the list – Angie Bjorklund, Kelley Cain and Shekinna Stricklen. Connecticut (Tiffany Hayes and Maya Moore), Xavier (Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips), Stanford (Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen) and Ohio State (Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis) each added two to the list.
“I’m very proud and happy for Angie, Kelley and Shhekinna. This nomination honor is a testament to the hard work and energy that they have all invested in improving their game,” said Head Coach Pat Summitt.
“Angie has really elevated her game. She’s been devoted to getting in the gym and getting in extra shots, which has keyed her success. Kelley has taken her game to another dynamic level and was really a difference maker for us. Shekinna did a great job of running the point and her size out front is a definite advantage. She has learned to attack the paint, and when you factor that in with her pull-up game and her three-point shooting, she is a complete package.”
In 2009-10, Bjorklund was a unanimous choice to the First Team All-SEC by the league coaches and was also selected First Team All-SEC as chosen by the Associated Press. In addition, she was named the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was tabbed to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team and earned Honorable Mention All-American from the Associated Press.
The Spokane Valley, Wash., native has climbed through the Tennessee record books in her third year at Rocky Top. Bjorklund has moved into third place on the career three-pointers list with 232 triples made and finished the campaign in second place in UT’s single-season record books with 201 threes made. She led the team with 13.9 ppg, dished out 2.9 apg and grabbed 2.7 rpg.
Cain earned Associated Press First Team All-SEC honors, along with First Team All-SEC and All-Defensive Team accolades from league coaches after leading the SEC in blocked shots with 113 (3.4 bpg). She set a new Tennessee school record for blocks in a game with 12 against LSU on Feb. 22, 2010, and blocks in a season, besting the mark of 99 set by former Player of the Year Candace Parker in 2006-07. In just two short years, Cain has climbed to fifth in the UT annals with 162 career blocks. Her 3.4 bpg ranked fifth in the NCAA for 2009-10.
Stricklen was named Second Team All-SEC by the conference coaches and the AP. She was a finalist for the Wooden Award, a candidate for the Naismith Award, was named to the State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List and also earned Honorable Mention All-American from the AP. Stricklen recorded only the second triple-double in Lady Vol history when she scored 17 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out a career-best 12 assists against #14/15-ranked Oklahoma on Jan. 3, 2010, at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Morrilton, Ark., native was second on the team with 12.7 ppg, third with 6.1 rpg and boasts a team-high 3.9 apg.
The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 34th year and named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade, debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. This highly prestigious award, regarded as the "Heisman of Women's Basketball," is organized by the WBCA, in conjunction with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS).
The 2011 State Farm Wade Trophy winner will be announced at the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four, in Indianapolis in April.