Wooden All-American Added to Wojta's Accolades
By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Prestigious postseason awards continue to be handed out to Green Bay senior Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) as the most decorated player in Green Bay women's basketball history was one of five players named to the John R. Wooden All-American Team for 2011-12, announced Wednesday.
In addition to Wojta, Stanford senior Nneka Ogwumike is a Wooden All-American for the third time while Baylor's Brittney Griner is a two-time selection. Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne and Wojta are making their first appearances on the team.
"This is a huge honor and it's just overwhelming considering there are only five players on the team," Wojta said. "Like I've always said, I wouldn't be the player I am today without my teammates' support and pushing me every day in practice."
On Tuesday, Mar. 27, Wojta became the first player in Green Bay women's basketball history to be named to the AP All-America team since the program turned Division I in 1987-88.
In addition to academics, the prestigious Wooden Award is unique among college postseason awards because voters could consider performance during the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
The honor is added to a long list of accomplishments by Wojta in 2011-12, who was also tabbed as the Horizon League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. The senior captain is currently one of 12 finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy, which is presented to the NCAA's most outstanding Division I women's basketball player, and is a member of the Naismith Watch List.
Wojta concluded her senior campaign by setting a program record with 252 made field goals and was second in points (644), scoring average (19.5), field goals attempted (491) and rebounds (328). For her career, the newly-minted All-American ranks fourth on the program's individual scoring list with 1,638 points and ranks fifth with 843 rebounds, posting a Division I program record 35 double-doubles.
Wojta also ranks in the top 10 in several other career statistical categories, finishing third in steals (288), fifth in free throw percentage (.799), sixth in free throws made (290) and seventh in free throws attempted (363). In her 124 games in a Phoenix uniform, Wojta made 642 field goals and dished out 378 assists - both of which rank sixth in the school record books. Wojta's 1,289 attempted field goals and 13.2 points per game scoring average each rank seventh.
One of Wojta's most memorable performances this season came at Milwaukee on Jan. 7 when the five-time Horizon League Player of the Week grabbed a Horizon League and program record 12 steals, including 11 in the first half. In the same contest Wojta also scored a game-high 27 points in 25 minutes of play. Wojta finished the season with a program record 127 steals, including an NCAA Tournament program record 10 in Green Bay's second round game of the NCAA Tournament against second-seeded Kentucky.
On Feb. 11 Green Bay hosted Wright State in a Horizon League battle in which Wojta grabbed a Kress Center record 20 rebounds while pouring in a game-high 30 points, becoming the first player in program history to turn in a 30-20 performance. In the same contest, Wojta also set a Kress record with eight steals while tying the record with a career-high four blocks.
The 36th annual Wooden Award Gala will take place on Friday, Apr. 6, 2012 and will honor the men's and women's winners, All-Americans and the Legends of Coaching winner Geno Auriemma of Connecticut. The John R. Wooden Award will be announced on ESPN at the Final Four in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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 collegiate player 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).
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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