Vandersloot, Bowman, Bjorklund named to Wooden Award list - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Basketball

Vandersloot, Bowman, Bjorklund named to Wooden Award preseason list

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Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot is the reigning WCC Player of the Year (Photo: File / SWX) Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot is the reigning WCC Player of the Year (Photo: File / SWX)
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Gonzaga one of four teams with multiple nominees

SPOKANE, Wash. - Apparently, three of some of the best players in women's college basketball have a close relationship with Spokane. Gonzaga's Heather Bowman and Courtney Vandersloot, and Tennessee's Angie Bjorklund learned Thursday they'd been named to the preseason Women's Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy list. 

Gonzaga is one of just four schools across the country with more than one player on the list.  The other three teams are Connecticut (Maya Moore, Tina Charles), Ohio State (Jantel Lavender, Samantha Prahalis) and Stanford (Jayne Appel, Jeanette Pohlen).

Bjorklund, a graduate of University High School, was the Tennessee Volunteers' leading scorer in 2007-08 - the year she was named the SEC Rookie of the Year.  She has a deadly long-range shot and is expected to have another standout year.

Bowman played in 33 games last year for the Zags and is the first Bulldog to be named for the Wooden award in back-to-back seasons.  Last season the Spokane native averaged a team-best 19.4 points and 7.5 points per game.  She shot 51.1 percent from the field and hit 81.1 percent of her free throws.  She's fourth on Gonzaga's list of all-time scorers with 1,666 career points, and needs 346 to move into first place.

Vandersloot, who was also named to the "Wade Watch" list earlier this summer, averaged 16.4 points per game last season.  She averaged 7.5 assists, the third-most in the nation , as a sophomore.  The native of Kent, Wash. hit a team-high 35 3-pointers, averaged 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 steals.  She is the reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Year and Tournament Most Valuable Player.  She was also a State Farm Coaches' and Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention honoree and a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award.

Vandersloot and Bowman are the only players from the West Coast Conference to make this year's Wooden list.  The preseason list is comprised of 31 players from across the country.  The list will be pared down to 20 in December, and then 15 top players in March.  The Wooden All-American Team will be announced the week of the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament.  The winner of the Wooden Award will be announced the weekend of April 9-11.

2009-10 John R. Wooden Award Preseason List

Player School
Jayne Appel Stanford
Erica Beverly Hartford
Angie Bjorklund Tennessee
Heather Bowman Gonzaga
Jessica Breland North Carolina
Tina Charles Connecticut
Alysha Clark Middle Tennessee
Allyssa DeHaan Michigan State
Tyra Grant Penn State
Alexis Gray-Lawson California
Allison Hightower Louisiana State
Ashley Houts Georgia
Ify Ibekwe Arizona
Jantel Lavender Ohio State
Gabriela Marginean Drexel
Danielle McCray Kansas
Nicole Michael Syracuse
Jacinta Monroe Florida State
Maya Moore Connecticut
Jene Morris San Diego State
Dierdre Naughton DePaul
Ta'Shia Phillips Xavier
Jeanette Pohlen Stanford
Samantha Prahalis Ohio State
Andrea Riley Oklahoma State
Danielle Robinson Oklahoma
Jenna Smith Illinois
Ashley Sweat Kansas State
Carolyn Swords Boston College
Courtney Vandersloot Gonzaga 
Monica Wright Virginia
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