Shekinna Stricklen finalist for the John R. Wooden Award

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Lady Vol senior Shekinna Stricklen has been named a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, The Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Wednesday. The final ballot will be mailed to Wooden Award voters this week, as voting is slated to begin March 12. The ballot, made up of 15 student-athletes, is comprised of the final contenders for women's college basketball's most prestigious honor as selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board.

Stricklen is a 2011-12 All-Southeastern Conference First-Team selection as well as an All-SEC Tournament performer. The Morrilton, Ark., native leads Tennessee in scoring this season, putting up 15.4 points per game while hitting 44.9 percent of her shots this year.

Across the SEC Stricklen is third in the league in scoring and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage. She has recorded double-digit scoring performances in 27 games, including four double-doubles during her senior campaign. Her on-court performance has also landed her on the watch lists for the Naismith Trophy and the Wade Trophy.

Stricklen is one of two SEC players on the prestigious Wooden Award ballot, along with Kentucky's A'dia Mathies.

The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala, will take place April 6, and will honor winners, All-Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut.

About the John R. Wooden Award

Created in 1976 and named after the Hall of Fame player, coach and teacher, 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 minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Blake Griffin ('09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut ('09 and '11). BYU's Jimmer Fredette and Moore were the Wooden Award winners in 2011.

Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also 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 Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club the weekend of the John R. Wooden Award Gala.

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