Baylor's Brittney Griner, <em>Full Court's</em> 2013 National Player of the Year, added the 2013 Wade Trophy and the WBCA's Defensive Player of the Year award to an already burgeoning trophy case. (Photo by Kelly Kline/WBCA)
Baylor's Brittney Griner, Full Court's 2013 National Player of the Year, added the 2013 Wade Trophy and the WBCA's Defensive Player of the Year award to an already burgeoning trophy case. (Photo by Kelly Kline/WBCA)

Griner wins Wade Trophy, WBCA Defensive Player of the Year

April 9, 2013 - 1:16am

NEW ORLEANS – The awards continue to roll in for Baylor's Brittney Griner, the 2012 and 2013 Full Court National Player of the Year. Griner has been selected as the winner of both the 2013 State Farm® Wade Trophy and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Defensive Player of the Year Award, the organization announced tonight during its third annual WBCA Awards Show.  The event is part of the WBCA National Convention, held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four®.

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 36th year, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade.  The award debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. The prestigious award, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball,” is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the WBCA and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS). The WBCA also announced the State Farm/WBCA Players of the Year in other collegiate divisions.  Kari Daugherty of Ashland University was named NCAA Division II player of the year, Samantha Barber of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point was named NCAA Division III player of the year, Tugce Canitez of Westmont College was named NAIA player of the year, and Olivia Gaines of Louisburg College was named the Junior/Community College player of the year.

“On behalf of the WBCA and the NAGWS I am honored to present Brittney with the State Farm Wade Trophy – women’s basketball’s highest honor,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass.  “Brittney was a force to be reckoned with this season and was a pleasure to watch.  She pushed the game to new heights and will continue to do so throughout her playing career.”

“Brittney has had an incredible year, and State Farm is honored to recognize her as The 2013 State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year,” added Pam El, Marketing Vice President for State Farm. “Brittney’s dedication and commitment to the game of basketball and her outstanding accomplishments as a student-athlete make her truly deserving of this wonderful award."

Griner is the second-highest-scoring player in NCAA women’s basketball history (3,203 points) and ranks No. 1 on the Big 12 Conference’s scoring chart.  The three-time WBCA All-American also holds the NCAA career record for blocks (748) for both men and women and the NCAA women's record for dunks (18).  The two-time Wade Trophy recipient is the first NCAA player to score 2,000 points and block 500 shots, and one of just six players in the NCAA history to surpass 3,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.  She was named the Big 12 Player of the Year for the third straight season, was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth straight season and was selected as the Big 12 Championship's most outstanding player for the third straight year.  Griner is ranked first in the nation in field-goal percentage (60.7), second in blocked shots per game (4.14), third in points per game (23.8), fourth in triple doubles (1.0) and 15th in double-doubles (19.0). 

The WBCA and the NAGWS first partnered in June 2000 and for the past 11 years have worked together to present The State Farm Wade Trophy player of the year award. A committee composed of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States selects the winner. The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many standouts such as Nancy Lieberman (1979 & 1980), Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), Seimone Augustus (2005 & 2006) and Maya Moore (2009-2011).

Griner was also announced as the 2013 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year presented by United States Marines. Griner won the award for the third straight year. Connecticut’s Kelly Faris and Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike were also finalists for the award.

The Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women's basketball player. All Division I Conference Defensive Players of the Year are eligible to be nominated for the award and the selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference representative can select one player to be considered.

Griner, who has been present throughout the Final Four, was honored earlier this weekend as the United States Basketball Writers' Association's Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year. Earlier today the Atlanta Tip-off Club announced Griner's second consecutive selection as the recipient of the prestigious Naismith Award.

State Farm/WBCA Collegiate Players of the Year -- Other Divisions:

Kari Daugherty, Ashland University, NCAA Division II. Kari Daugherty helped guide Ashland University to its first team national championship in school history.  She finished the game with a double-double recording 26 points and 12 rebounds.  Daugherty recorded a double-double in every NCAA postseason game she played in during her collegiate career.  The most outstanding player of this year’s Elite Eight has also been named the NCAA Division II player of the year in back-to-back seasons as the Eagles finished last season as the runner up.  Daugherty set the NCAA Division II record for consecutive double-doubles (34) this season.  She is ranked second in the nation in rebounds per game (13.8) and third in points per game (22.2).  In the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference she is seventh in assists (3.3).  Earlier this season she was named the Daktronics, Inc. Midwest Region Player of the Year for the second straight year.  The Eagles have gone 69-3 overall over the past two seasons and they are 40-1 in conference action.

Samantha Barber, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, NCAA Division III. Samantha Barber helped lead the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point to their sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament after capturing as many Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament titles.  Barber was named the WIAC Player of the Year, Central Region Player of the Year and a First Team All-American by the WBCA.  The Pointers ended the season ranked seventh in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage (36.5) and 10th in field-goal percentage (44.2).  Barber completed her senior season ranked eighth in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage (43.6), 26th in points per game (19.1) and 48th in field-goal percentage (49.1).  She was fourth in the conference in rebounding (7.5 rpg), fifth in blocked shots (1.07) and seventh in steals (1.90).  Barber completed her career at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with 1,329 points, accomplishing the feat in three seasons after transferring following her freshman season.

Tugce Canitez, Westmont College, NAIA. Tugce Canitez helped guide Westmont College to its first-ever NAIA Women’s Basketball Division I national championship this season winning 71-65 over Lee University, as Canitez was named the 2013 NAIA Championship Most Valuable Player.  The Warriors finished the season with a 30-4 overall record while going 14-0 in Golden State Athletic Conference action.  The 2012-13 GSAC Player of the Year ended the season ranked second in NAIA Division I in scoring (21.64) and third in rebounding (12.76 rpg).  She led the conference in field goal percentage (54.6), was third in free throw percentage (78.3), sixth in assists (3.29) and seventh in steals (1.65). Canitez also participated in the Olympics last summer as a member of the Turkish National Team in its debut appearance in Olympic women's basketball competition.

Olivia Gaines, Louisburg College, Junior/Community College. Olivia Gaines steered Louisburg College to a 75-65 victory over No. 1 seed Mesa Community College to win the school’s first NJCAA Division II national title and third national championship in program history.  Louisburg ended the season 32-2 overall and 12-2 in conference action.  The NJCAA Division II All-Tournament Team member finished the season averaging 18.6 points per game, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 assist.  Gaines also helped the Hurricanes pull off the upset in the NJCAA Region 10 championship game as they beat No. 1 seed Catawba Valley Community College.

The State Farm/WBCA Players of the Year are selected by committees composed of WBCA-member coaches within the respective membership divisions.

Source: Major portions of this article were obtained from WBCA press releases.