Feb. 19, 2003
(Atlanta, GA, February 19, 2003) South Carolina senior forward Jocelyn Penn was named as one of the 20 finalists for the Naismith College Basketball Player of theYear Award as announced by Jackie Bradford, President of the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Tuesday, February 18th.
It is only the second time that a South Carolina women’s basketball player has been honored as a finalist for the Naismith Award. Shannon Johnson accomplished the feat in 1996.
Penn currently leads the Gamecocks in scoring with an average of 24.6 points per game. She is second in the SEC behind LaToya Thomas’ per game average of 24.7 points per game. The senior from Conyers, Georgia is also the school leader in career steals and is only 12 thefts away from breaking the SEC mark for career steals.
The Naismith Board of Selectors, which includes some the country’s leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators, began the selection process earlier this year and have reduced the number of finalist by balloting to the twenty top male and female players they felt most deserving of the award.
The winners of the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball, will be honored in Atlanta on Friday, April 11, 2003.
The finalists for the Naismith College Player of the Year Award (listed alphabetically) are as follows:
Kelly Mazzante/Penn State
Nicole Ohlde/Kansas State
Jocelyn Penn/South Carolina
Plenette Pierson/Texas Tech
Diana Taurasi/University of Connecticut
LaToya Thomas/Mississippi State
Kendra Wecker/Kansas State
The Coca-Cola Company will be the presenting sponsor of the Naismith College Basketball Awards for 2003. The entitlement complements the Company’s new 11-year NCAA partnership as a corporate champion.
The Naismith Awards program, now in its 35th year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of excellence in basketball for student athletes.