ATLANTA - Texas A&M's Danielle Gant and Takia Starks were among 52 regional NCAA Division I finalists for the prestigious 2009 State Farm Coaches' All-America Basketball Team as announced by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) on Tuesday.
Gant, a 5-foot-11 senior combination guard/forward from Oklahoma City, Okla., was honored as Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year as well as to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team for the third year in a row. One of the most versatile players in the country, she is a two-time All-Big 12 First Team selection and was recently selected to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team. She is averaging a team-leading 6.9 rebounds per game along with 13.8 points for the ninth-ranked Aggies. Gant currently ranks fourth all-time in career scoring (1,591), third in field goals made (622), third in rebounding (903), third in free throws made (346), third in steals (261) and fourth in blocked shots (109).
Starks, a 5-foot-8 guard from Houston, Texas, is a three-time All-Big 12 First Team selection and a top 10 Senior CLASS Award finalist. One of the top two-guards in the country, she currently holds the school record for career field goals made (762), field goals attempted (1,860), three-pointers made (177) and three-pointers attempted (509) and is one of only four all-time A&M players to record 1,500 points and 500 rebounds in a career along with Gant. Starks is closing in on former All-American Lisa Branch's all-time scoring record with 1,923 career points to date. She is averaging a team-leading 15.6 points per game and has led the Aggies to four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Gant and Starks were joined in Region 5 by Kansas State's Shalee Lehning, Kansas' Danielle McCray, Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, Oklahoma State's Andrea Riley and Baylor's Danielle Wilson.
The State Farm Coaches' All-America Team selection committee will review the 52 candidates and cut the list to 40 finalists on March 25. The 40 remaining finalists will be in the running for selection to the 10-member State Farm Coaches' All-America Team will be announced at the State Farm Coaches' All-America Team Press Conference at the Renaissance Grand and Suites Hotel on April 4 at 9:45 a.m. (CT) as part of NCAA Women's Final Four festivities in St. Louis, Mo.