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Tennessee Lady Vols guard Meighan Simmons is one of 12 finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy as the nation's top Division I women's basketball player.

3:21 PM, Mar 27, 2013   |    comments
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Tennessee Lady Vols guard Meighan Simmons is one of 12 finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy as the nation's top Division I women's basketball player.

Simmons has averaged 17.3 points per game in leading the Lady Vols to an SEC championship and the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.

Here is more on the Wade finalists from the WBAC:

The State Farm® Wade Trophy Committee, along with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), announced today the 12 finalists in contention for The State Farm Wade Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding NCAA® Division I women's basketball player.

The candidates were selected by a vote of committee members consisting of leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators. The committee will select the winner of The State Farm Wade Trophy from among these 12 finalists who also are named to the 10-member WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches' All-America Team when it is chosen in April.  The winner will be announced during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 5 p.m. CT Monday, April 8, in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center's New Orleans Theatre.  The event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®. 

"The State Farm Wade Trophy is one of the most exciting awards to be a part of, because these 12 finalists' are the games most elite players and are truly exciting to watch," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass.  "This trophy is the equivalent to the Heisman Trophy, which is given out annually in collegiate football.  These finalists play immense roles as members of their respective institutions' women's basketball programs and one of them will be honored with our sport's most prestigious award." 

The State Farm Wade Trophy Finalists are as follows:

Player Name Institution Year Position
Layshia Clarenden California Sr. G
Elena Delle Donne Delaware Sr. F/G
Skylar Diggins Notre Dame Sr. G
Stefanie Dolson Connecticut Jr. C
Brittney Griner Baylor Sr. P
Maggie Lucas Penn State Jr. G
A'dia Mathies Kentucky Sr. G
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Connecticut So. F
Chiney Ogwumike Stanford Jr. F
Meighan Simmons Tennessee Jr. G
Odyssey Sims Baylor Jr. G
Alyssa Thomas Maryland Jr. F

"State Farm is extremely proud to recognize and congratulate these 12 outstanding athletes as finalists for The 2013 State Farm Wade Trophy," said Pam El, marketing vice president for State Farm.  "Their dedication and commitment epitomize the true meaning of student-athlete and they are all very deserving of this great honor."

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.  This most prestigious award, regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball", debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball. 
Last year, Baylor's Brittney Griner received the prestigious award.  Connecticut's Maya Moore was the first student-athlete to win the award three consecutive years (2009, 2010, 2011).  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 WNBA standouts such as Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002) and Diana Taurasi (2003).

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