Her Baylor Lady Bears fell short in their bid for a second consecutive NCAA women’s national championship, but there was no denying that the Bears’ sensational four-year star, Brittany Griner, was the country’s best women’s player. The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Friday that Griner had won the John R. Wooden Award, presented to college basketball’s best male and femaile player, for the second year in a row.
Griner, a three-time Wooden All-American, averaged 20-plus points a game in each of her last three years at Baylor, and averaged 24 points, third best in the country, and nine rebounds a game in her senior season. In 2011-12, she lead her team to an undefeated 40-0 record and the school’s second national championship. She also averaged 4.14 blocked shots a game to rank second nationally in that category.
The highly decorated senior player, ended her brilliant collegiate career as the No. 2 all-time scorer in NCAA women’s basketball. She is the first player to score more than 2,000 career points and record 500-plus blocked shots.
Baylor finished the 2012-13 season with a record 34-2 overall and 18-0 in conference play. In Griner’s four years at Baylor, the Lady Bears won a national championship and four regular-season conference titles. Over that period, Baylor won 77 games and lost only once against conference opponents. Overall, the Lady Bears lost just seven times combined in the four years.
Griner is the fourth player to win the Women’s Wooden Award twice. Others were Selmone Augustus (LSU), Maya Moore (Connecticut) and Candace Parker (Tennessee). Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame finished behind Griner in this year’s Wooden Award voting, followed by Elena Delle of Delaware and Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike. Griner’s Baylor teammate Odyssey Sims was fith in the balloting.
Griner did not attend the award ceremony Friday night at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. She was in Hartford, Conn., preparing for the WNBA Draft on Monday. Griner is expected to be the No. 1 overall draft pick.
Trey Burke of Michigan was named the men’s winner of this year’s Wooden Award.