Kansas' Brandon Rush Named to John R. Wooden Award Ballot for Second Straight Season

March 10, 2008

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LOS ANGELES – For the second straight season, Kansas junior guard Brandon Rush is among the 24 college players on the 2008 John R. Wooden Award ballot, The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Monday. The Wooden Award winner will be announced on Saturday, April 12, during a special ceremony at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Rush and <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough are the lone returning Wooden All-Americans from last season. A 6-6 guard from Kansas City, Mo., Rush averages 12.3 points and 5.0 rebounds for the No. 5 Jayhawks, who have won the Big 12 regular-season title each of the last four seasons, including 2008. An All-Big 12 First Team selection for the third straight year, Rush’s numbers stepped up in league play with a team-best 13.5 scoring average and a 5.9 rebound average.

A panel of more than 1,000 voters, comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from around the nation, have until 2 p.m. CST on Monday, March 31 to cast their votes, a long voting period that allows voters to evaluate players up through games of the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. All players on the ballots have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

The 2008 Award ceremony, which will include the presentation of the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, the Wooden Award All-American Teams, and the Legends of Coaching Award to Pat Summitt of the University of Tennessee, will be held at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of April 11-12. The top five male and female finalists will be invited to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony and will receive a contribution from The Los Angeles Athletic Club for their university’s general scholarship fund.

About the John R. Wooden Award

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 cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Danny Manning (`88), Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), and Tim Duncan (’97) and last year’s recipients, Kevin Durant of Texas and returning player Candace Parker of Tennessee.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All-American recipients and has 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-American players, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club on the Friday of the John R. Wooden Award weekend.

Wooden Award Official Ballot (Top 24 Candidates)

Ryan Anderson, California (6-10, So., F)

D.J. Augustin, Texas (6-0, So., G)

Jerryd Bayless, Arizona (6-3, Fr., G)

Michael Beasley, KansasState (6-10, Fr., F)

Darren Collison, UCLA (6-0, Jr., G)

Stephen Curry, Davidson (6-1, So., G)

Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis (6-7, Jr., G)

Shan Foster, Vanderbilt (6-6, Sr., G)

Eric Gordon, Indiana (6-4, Fr., G)

Jamont Gordon, Mississippi State (6-4, Jr., G)

Mike Green, Butler (6-1, Sr., G)

Tyler Hansbrough*, North Carolina (6-9, Jr., F)

Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (6-8, So., F)

Roy Hibbert, Georgetown (7-2, Sr., C)

Robbie Hummel, Purdue (6-8, Fr., G)

Chris Lofton, Tennessee (6-2, Sr., G)

Kevin Love, UCLA (6-10, Fr., C)

O.J. Mayo, USC (6-5, Fr., G)

DeMarcus Nelson, Duke (6-4, Sr., G)

A.J. Price, Connecticut (6-2, Jr., G)

Derrick Rose, Memphis (6-3, Fr., G)

Brandon Rush*, Kansas (6-6, Jr., G)

Tyler Smith, Tennessee (6-7, So., F)

D.J. White, Indiana (6-9, Sr., F)

*Indicates player was 2007-2008 Wooden Award All-American