An Archway Hoops Festival

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: April 9, 2009

WBC HOUSTON — The WBCA All-America Game featured several players who will be freshman in the Fall of 2009 at the same school. The North Carolina Tar Heels had the largest contigent of signees with three. They included: Krista Gross of Cannon High School, Waltia Rolle of Westbury Christian, and Tierra Ruffin of Pratt-T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia.

– Baylor University and the University of California were both represented with two players each. Mariah Chandler of SW AtlantaChristian Academy and Brittney Griner of Nimitz High School are headed to Baylor; while Layshia Clarendon of Cajon High School and DeNesha Stallworth of Pinole High School are headed to Cal.

– The All-America game gave the nation a chance to view the next generation of potential women’s basketball superstars, by showing a taped airing on ESPNU. Attendance for the game presented by Nike was 2,368.

– Griner became the first Baylor signee to win the Most Valuable Player award. She joins Maya Moore and Tina Charles (UConn), Seimone Augustus (LSU), Kara Lawson (Tennessee), Diana Taurasi (UConn), Ivory Latta (North Carolina), Sylvia Fowles (LSU), and Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford) as previous winners.

– Griner also became the fourth player from Texas to be named MVP andscored the most points out of all WBCA participants from Texas since 1992. She surpassed the 19 points scored by Alesha Robertson from Plainview High School in 2003.

– The WBCA has selected Myles Brand as the recipient of the 2009 WBCA President’s Award. This distinguished award is chosen and presented by the active president of the WBCA to an individual who has given a tireless commitment to the development of women’s basketball.

Brand, who is the president of the NCAA, assumed his duties at this position on January 1, 2003. In his first five years, he presided over passage of the most comprehensive academic reform package for intercollegiate athletics in recent history.

He also changed the national dialog on college sports to emphasize the educational value of athletics participation and the integration of intercollegiate athletics with the academic mission of higher education.

– Linus McGinty of >Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, Pennsylvania has been named the 2009 Russell Athletic/WBCA National High SchoolCoach of the Year. This year marks the 20th year that this accolade has been presented and selected by the WBCA since 1990.

– The WBCA has raised over $1.3 million for the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. This is being held in partnership with the Jimmy “V” Foundation.

– The WBCA and State Farm announced the 2009 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I State Farm Coaches All-American Basketball Team. The 10-member team was decided from a group of 40 finalists by the selection committee at an in-person meeting at the 2009 WBCA National Convention.

The members of the team include: Jayne Appel (Stanford), DeWanna Bonner (Auburn), Tina Charles (UConn), Marissa Coleman (Maryland), Jantel Lavender (Ohio State), Angel McCoughtry (Louisville), Renee Montgomery (UConn), Maya Moore (UConn), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), and Kristi Toliver (Maryland).

– The 2009 WBCA Awards Luncheon, presented by State Farm and Jostens honored15 people at their annual luncheon during the Women’s Final Four. The State Farm/ WBCA Players of the Year include: High School Player of the Year: Brittney Griner of Nimitz High School, Junior College Player of the Year: Danielle Adams of Jefferson College, NAIA Player of the Year: Jana Cross of Freed-Hardeman, Division III Player of the Year: Hilary Klimowicz of The College of New Jersey, and the Division II Player of the Year: Katie Cezat of Hillsdale College.

– Other 2009 WBCA Award Winners include: Anna Atkinson (Wingate), Christina Wirth (Vanderbilt), Carolyn Campbell-McGovern (Ivy League), Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame), Abby Waner (Duke), Renee Montgomery (UConn), Jacqua Williams (Georgia Tech), Clarisse Garcia (Seton Hill), writer Chuck Schoffner (Associated Press), and the late Kay Yow.

– WNBA veterans Tina Thompson of the Los Angeles Sparks and Yolanda Griffith of the Seattle Storm served as honorary coaches for the WBCA High School All-American game.