Gist Named Wooden Award Candidate
Oct. 31, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland senior James Gist (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) has been named one of 50 preseason candidates for the 2007-08 John R. Wooden Award, the nation's most prestigious college basketball award. The Award is named for the three-time college basketball All American, 1932 Player of the Year and ten-time national championship coach at UCLA.
Gist, who helped the Terrapins to a 25-9 record last season, started 33 games and played in every contest for Maryland during his junior season. He was named honorable mention All-ACC as he ranked third on the team and 23rd in the ACC in scoring (12.6 ppg). Gist was the team's leading scorer in conference play with 13.9 points per contest. He was fourth in the ACC in blocked shots (2.12 bpg) and seventh in rebounding (7.2 rpg). The Silver Spring native scored in double figures 28 times as a junior and posted six double-doubles. He blocked 72 shots and ranks eighth all-time at Maryland with 154 career blocked shots.
This summer Gist was named to USA Basketball's Pan Am team, which took fifth place at the Pan American Games in Brazil. He was named preseason second-team All-ACC by Lindy's and Athlon's college basketball preview publications. Gist was also tabbed as the No. 13 power forward in college basketball by Lindy's.
The list of Wooden Award candidates 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 coveted trophy. These top 50 candidates are comprised of returning players. Transfers, freshmen, and medical redshirts are not eligible for this preseason list, but will be evaluated and considered for both the Midseason Top 30 list and the National Ballot. Players not on the preseason list are eligible for the midseason top 30 and ballot. Last year, Kevin Durant of the University of Texas was the first freshman to win the Wooden Award.
In January, the Wooden Award committee will release the Midseason Top 30 list, followed by the distribution of the National Ballot to more than 1,000 voters in early March. The 10-player Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced the Tuesday after the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament is completed.
The 2008 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men's and Women's John R. Wooden Award, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and the Legends of Coaching Award to recipient Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 11-13, 2008. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the Award's ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university's general scholarship fund. One of these five players will be named the John R. Wooden Award Player of the Year at a live televised announcement from The Club where he is awarded the prestigious five-figured bronze trophy.
Maryland will play its only exhibition contest of the season on November 7, when the Terrapins take on Concordia University at 8:00 p.m. The Terps open the regular season November 11 when they face North Florida in the first round of the 2007 O'Reilly Auto Parts College Basketball Experience at Comcast Center.
About the John R. Wooden Award
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-American selections, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday prior to the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony.
For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact 213-630-5231 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com, or visit www.WoodenAward.com.