Candidates for State Farm Wade Trophy pared to 12

ATLANTA -- The list of 12 finalists for The State Farm Wade Trophy offered up a who's who of the best players in women's college basketball, but only one will be called player of the year.

Candace Parker of Tennessee, Sylvia Fowles of LSU, Courtney Paris of Oklahoma, Candice Wiggins of Stanford, UConn's Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery and Rutgers' Essence Carson and Matee Ajavon were among the selections announced Wednesday by The State Farm Wade Trophy Committee in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport.

The candidates were selected by a vote of committee members comprised of coaches, journalists and basketball administrators. Members of the committee will select the winner of the trophy during the WBCA's national convention on April 5.

"The State Farm Wade Trophy committee has compiled quite an impressive list of 12 finalists," WBCA CEO Beth Bass said in a statement. "These young women not only succeed on the hardwood, but also serve as positive role models in the community. Each one of the finalists is deserving of the State Farm Wade Trophy."

Crystal Langhorne of Maryland, Erlana Larkins of North Carolina, Angel McCoughtry of Louisville and Kristi Tolliver of Maryland also are among the dozen finalists.

The State Farm Wade Trophy, now in its 31st year, is named after legendary Delta State coach Lily Margaret Wade, a three-time national champion. 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.

Parker was the award's 2007 winner. Seimone Augustus (2005, '06) and Nancy Lieberman (1979, '80) are its only two-time recipients.