Derrick Brown, Dionte Christmas Named To Wooden Award List

By Atlantic 10 Conference

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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

Nov. 7, 2008

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Preseason first-team All-Atlantic 10 selections Derrick Brown of Xavier and Temple's Dionte Christmas are among 50 candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy, it was announced today by Richard "Duke" Llewellyn, Wooden Award Chairman and founder. The list is composed of 50 student athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.

Brown averaged 10.9 points and a team-leading 6.5 rebounds last season in leading Xavier to a program-best 30 wins and a berth in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The junior forward is vying to become the first XU player since David West in 2003 to be named to the John R. Wooden All-America Team.

Seeking to become the league's first-ever three-time scoring champion, Christmas averaged an A-10 best 19.7 ppg. a year ago while knocking down 104 field goals from beyond the arc. The senior guard added 5.9 rpg. and 46 steals in leading the Owls to the 2008 Atlantic 10 Championship and its first NCAA berth since 2001.

In all, 42 schools are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason list. The A-10 is one of 10 conferences to have multiple players honored.

Transfers, freshmen and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These players and others who excel throughout the season will be evaluated and considered for January's Midseason list and the official voting ballot released in March.

In mid-January, the Wooden Award Committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed in March by the National Ballot, consisting of approximately 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round during the NCAA Tournament.

The 33rd annual Wooden Award ceremony, which will include the announcement of the Men's and Women's Wooden Award, and the presentation of the Wooden Award All-American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award to Rick Barnes from The University of Texas, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club in April, 2009.

Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina, last year's Wooden Award winner, returns to Chapel Hill for his final collegiate season and has a chance to become only the second repeat men's Wooden Award winner. Ralph Sampson of Virginia won the Award twice, in 1982 and 1983. Other returning Wooden All-Americans include Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody and Davidson guard Stephen Curry.

About the John R. Wooden Award
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 cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), and 2007 recipient Kevin Durant of Texas. Candace Parker of Tennessee won the Women's Wooden Award in 2007 and 2008.

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 as well as sent over 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the awards 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 Olympic athletes and the All-Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.

The Race for the Wooden Award is on! 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 via phone at 213-630-5231 or email at woodenaward@laac.net.

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