UK womens basketball 300LEXINGTON, Ky. (10/27/13) – University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior forward DeNesha Stallworth was named to the John R. Wooden Award Women’s Preseason Top 30 today announced the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list is comprised of 30 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. The list is chosen by a preseason poll of national college women’s basketball media members.

Stallworth is also one of 25 players on the 2013-14 preseason “Wade Watch” list of candidates for the prestigious Wade Trophy, while also earning preseason All-Southeastern Conference First Team honors. Former UK All-American A’dia Mathies was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 30 list last season.

Stallworth, who was a First Team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches last season, is UK’s leading returning scorer and second-leading rebounder for 2013-14. The Richmond, Calif., native averaged 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last year in helping lead the Wildcats to their third appearance in the Elite Eight in the last four years. The 6-foot-3 forward netted double figures in 27-of-35 games played, including 11-of-15 SEC contests. She ranked in the top-20 in SEC scoring (16th, 12.5 ppg), rebounding (19th, 6.0 rpg), field goal percentage (4th, .484) and blocks (5th, 1.5 bpg).

For her career, Stallworth is averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds. She has notched 21 career double-doubles, including a team-high nine double-doubles for the Cats, and has compiled 1,366 points (438 at UK) and 663 rebounds (209 at UK) in her collegiate career. She transferred to UK in 2011 after playing two seasons at the University of Cal-Berkley.

Players not chosen to the preseason team are eligible for both the midseason team and the National Ballot. The National Ballot consists of 20 top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Wooden Award All American Team, consisting of the nation’s top five players, will be announced the week of the Final Four.

The 38th annual Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy’s will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners the weekend of April 11-13, 2014. It will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and will recognize the Legends of Coaching Award recipient Tara VanDerveer of Stanford.

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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11).

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. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s 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 the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award ceremony.

Follow UK Hoops on Twitter and Instagram at @UKHoopCats and on Facebook by liking University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball.

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