ST. LOUIS (USBWA) A trio of three-time All-Americans leads the
2003-04 United States Basketball Writers Association Women's All-America
first team, as chosen by voting from the association's membership.
National Player of the Year Alana Beard of Duke heads a first
team composed of five repeat All-America honorees, all of whom are seniors.
Penn State's Kelly Mazzante and Stanford's Nicole Powell are
the two other three-time All-Americans named to the first team. Connecticut's
Diana Taurasi and Nicole Ohlde of Kansas State are the other
Heading the second team is another three-time All-American, Lindsay
Whalen of Minnesota, and two-time honoree Shereka Wright of Purdue.
Rounding out the second team are first-time selections Shyra Ely
of Tennessee, Chandi Jones of Houston and Stacy Stephens of
Texas. Ely, a junior, is the only underclassman named to the team.
In the eight-year history of the USBWA Women's All-America Team, there
have been eight three-time honorees, half of which are 2003-04 selections
(Beard, Mazzante, Powell and Whalen). Ohlde, Taurasi and Wright are three
of the 13 all-time back-to-back All-Americans.
Of the first team selections, Beard, Mazzante and Powell each her respective
conference player of the year · led their teams to within one game of the
Final Four. Taurasi, the 2003 USBWA Player of the Year, has led her UConn
Huskies to the national semifinals in each of her four seasons in Storrs.
This season, she earned her second straight Big East Player of the Year
honor. Ohlde was the Big 12 player of the year for the second straight season.
The USBWA, formed in 1956, names a women's player, coach, and freshman
of the year in addition to its All-America team. Joe Curl of Houston
was the Coach of the Year and Texas' Tiffany Jackson was named Freshman
of the Year earlier this week by the organization.