Jason Kapono Earns Second Preseason Honor

Oct. 16, 2001

ATLANTA, GA -UCLA junior forward Jason Kapono is a pre-season candidate for the 2001-2002 Naismith Men's College Basketball Player of the Year Award, Jackie Bradford, President of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, announced Monday.

This is Kapono's second preseason honor. He is also a Wooden Award Preseason selection. As a sophomore in 2001, Kapono was UCLA's leading scorer (17.2) and three-point shooter (45.7, 84 (school season record)-184) and was a Wooden Award Finalist and a first-team All-Pac-10 performer (for the second consecutive season).

Jason Williams (Duke), Casey Jacobsen (Stanford) and Frank Williams (Illinois) were the top three leading vote-getters, respectively, among the men's pre-season Naismith candidates.

The Naismith Awards program, now in its 34th year, honors the outstanding college men's and women's basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball.

The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. Members of the board were asked to name top male and female players who are most likely to be in contention for the award.

"Both the men's and women's fields, from top to bottom, are extremely talented," said Bradford. "The race for the Naismith Award will once again be very competitive and exciting."

Last year's Naismith Award recipients were Shane Battier (Duke) and Ruth Riley (Notre Dame). The first recipient of the male Naismith Award was Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) of UCLA in 1969. Other college player of the year recipients include many NBA standouts such as Bill Walton (UCLA), Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Christian Laettner. The women's Naismith Award, first presented in 1983 to Anne Donovan (Old Dominion), includes recipients such as three-time winner Cheryl Miller of USC, two-time honorees Clarissa Davis of Texas, Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee and Dawn Staley of Virginia.

Please visit the Naismith website at www.naismithawards.com for more information on the award.

The pre-season men's candidates for the Naismith Award, listed in alphabetical order, are as follows:

2001-02 Pre-Season Naismith Men's Candidates
Lonny Baxter, Maryland
Troy Bell, Boston College
LaVell Blanchard, Michigan
Keith Bogans, Kentucky
Carlos Boozer, Duke
Caron Butler, Connecticut
Nick Collison, Kansas
Sam Clancy, USC
Juan Dixon, Maryland
Chris Duhon, Duke
Mike Dunleavy, Duke
Melvin Ely, Fresno State
Reggie Evans, Iowa
Drew Gooden, Kansas
Lynn Greer, Temple
Udonis Haslem, Florida
Casey Jacobsen, Stanford
Jared Jeffries, Indiana
Jason Kapono, UCLA
Chris Marcus, Western Kentucky
Brett Nelson, Florida
Marvin O'Conner, St. Joseph's
Chris Owens, Texas
Tayshawn Prince, Kentucky
Luke Recker, Iowa
Darius Rice, Miami- FL
Kareem Rush, Missouri
David West, Xavier
Frank Williams, Illinois
Jason Williams, Duke

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