ATLANTA, GA -- Texas A&M’s Takia Starks is one of 50 women’s college basketball players to headline the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T early season watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Friday.
Starks, a 5-foot-8 senior guard for the No. 3 nationally-ranked Aggies, is averaging a team-leading 12.9 points per game and ranks third all-time in career scoring with 1,539 career points to date. The two-time All-Big 12 Conference First Team selection is also a candidate for the prestigious Wade Trophy and John R. Wooden Awards.
The watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2008-09 college basketball season. The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T will be awarded at the 2009 NCAA Women’s Final Four in St. Louis, Mo.
For the sixth consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year’s winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results – more than any other national college basketball award.
In February, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its preseason list to the top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.
Notable past Naismith Trophy winners include USC’s Cheryl Miller, Virginia’s Dawn Staley, Duke’s Lindsey Harding and Tennessee’s Candace Parker. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s player of the year.
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