Chantelle Anderson and Ashley McElhiney Selected

(Kansas City, MO) - As the 2002-03 college basketball season gets underway, the list of candidates for the second annual Senior CLASS Award have been selected and were announced today by the award's organizing committee.

The award is presented annually to the nation's senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball. The inaugural award winners were Juan Dixon of Maryland and Sue Bird of Connecticut.

The "Players to Watch" on the men's side include representatives from 15 different conferences, nine of which have multiple players on the list. The SEC has the most nominations with six players being listed. There are also four teams with multiple listings: Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma and Florida.

The list of women's "Players to Watch" include representatives from 15 conferences, eight of which have multiple players on the list. The SEC also has the most women's players, with six nominations. There are five players on the women's list that were AP All-Americans last season, including two first-team selections.

The formation of the Senior CLASS Award - an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School - was announced during last season's college basketball season. The CLASS Award was developed in response to the recent trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional.

Selection criteria is based on a number of factors, the most important being that the recipient must have exhausted their four years of eligibility and have fulfilled their commitment to their respective university. In addition, the recipient must be working toward their degree, be in good academic standing and be of sound moral character.

The performances of the "Players to Watch" for both men and women will be tracked during the season. From that pool of players, a national committee of sportscasters and sportswriters who cover college basketball on the Division I level will select 10 Finalists.

The names of these Finalists will appear on the official ballot during the national voting process in March. The selection of the men's and women's award winner will be based on the cumulative ballots of the national media committee and Division I college basketball coaches. The winner will be announced during the respective NCAA Final Four events in March.

"The inaugural year of the Senior CLASS Award came together with a storybook ending, as both winners led their team to the national championship," said Gary Heise, President of Premier Sports Management, the company responsible for the overall administration of the award. "With Juan Dixon and Sue Bird having already set a high benchmark, we are very impressed with the candidates for year two. Senior players are dominating the preseason All-American teams and it will be an intriguing race in the balloting for the 2002-03 award winners."

The 2003 Women's Senior CLASS Award "Players to Watch"

Player - School
Jordan Adams University of New Mexico
Chantelle Anderson Vanderbilt University
Kristine Austgulen Virginia Commonwealth University
Gunta Basko Siena University
Tamara Bowie Ball State University
Syretta Bromfield Michigan State University
Coretta Brown University of North Carolina
Courtney Coleman Ohio State University
Molly Creamer Bucknell University
Angela Davidson Northwestern State University
Tamika Dudley Long Island University
Crissy Floyd Clemson University
Cheryl Ford Louisiana Tech University
Caton Hill University of Oklahoma
Constance Jinks UNLV
Trish Juhline Villanova University
Kara Lawson University of Tennessee
Sonja Mallory Georgia Tech University
Ashley McElhiney Vanderbilt University
Loree Payne University of Washington
Jocelyn Penn University of South Carolina
Alicia Ratay University of Notre Dame
Ayisha Smith Louisiana State University
Kate Smith University of Nevada-Reno
Brianne Stepherson Boston College
LaToya Thomas Mississippi State University
Erin Thorn Brigham Young University
Shaquala Williams University of Oregon
Lindsey Wilson Iowa State University
Katie Wolfe Oakland University


The 2003 Men's Senior CLASS Award "Players to Watch"

Player - School
Marcus Bailey University of Wyoming
Troy Bell Boston College
Steven Blake University of Maryland
Brett Blizzard UNC-Wilmington
Keith Bogans University of Kentucky
Matt Bonner University of Florida
Nick Collison University of Kansas
Brian Cook University of Illinois
Tom Coverdale Indiana University
Willie Deane Purdue University
Henry Domercant Eastern Illinois University
Erwin Dudley University of Alabama
Ronald Dupree Louisiana State University
Ebi Ere University of Oklahoma
Reece Gaines University of Louisville
Jason Gardner University of Arizona
Marcus Hatten St. John's University
Kirk Hinrich University of Kansas
Josh Howard Wake Forest University
Brandon Hunter Ohio University
Britton Johnsen University of Utah
Dahntay Jones Duke University
Jason Kapono UCLA
Brandin Knight University of Pittsburgh
Kyle Korver Creighton University
Chris Marcus Western Kentucky University
Brett Nelson University of Florida
Kirk Penney University of Wisconsin
Hollis Price University of Oklahoma
Hector Romero University of New Orleans
Ron Slay University of Tennessee
Theron Smith Ball State University
Darrell Tucker University of San Francisco
Luke Walton University of Arizona
Travis Watson University of Virginia
David West Xavier University


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)