Shakira Austin Tabbed to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List
Center a Candidate for the 2022 John R. Wooden Award Women’s Player of the Year
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – (Release) The preseason accolades continue to roll in for Shakira Austin, as the senior has been named to the 2021-22 Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are front runners for the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award. Since 1976, the John R. Wooden Award program is one of the top honors in college basketball recognizing the best of the best throughout the sport. The list will be narrowed down during the 2021-22 season with the Wooden award midseason list, late season list and the National Ballot. After a dominant first season as a Rebel, earning Honorable Mention All-America and First-Team All-SEC honors, Austin looks to carry the trend into her senior campaign. Austin was most recently placed on the Lisa Leslie Award preseason watch list, as well as earning both SEC Media Preseason All-SEC honors and SEC Coaches Preseason First-Team All-SEC accolades. Currently, she leads the SEC in career rebounds with a total of 787. The Wooden Award All-American team will be announced the week of the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2022 John R. Wooden Award will be presented by Wendy’s following the NCAA Tournament in April. Previous Wooden Award All-Americans include, Paige Bueckers, UConn, Aliyah Boston, South Carolina, Rhyne Howard, Kentucky and NaLyssa Smith, Baylor. About the John R. Wooden Award: Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award Program hosts the most prestigious honors in college basketball recognizing the Wooden Award Most Outstanding Player for men and women, the Wooden Award All American Teams for men and women and the annual selection of the Wooden Award Legends of Coaching recipient. Honorees have proven to their university that they meet or exceed the qualifications of the John R. Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden and the Wooden Award Steering Committee, including making progress towards graduation and maintaining at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Kevin Durant (’07), Candace Parker (’07; ’08), Maya Moore (’09; ’11), Chiney Ogwumike (’14), Breanna Stewart (’15 and ’16) and last year’s recipients, Paige Bueckers of Connecticut and Luka Garza of Iowa. Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.
(Feature image graphic: Ole Miss Athletics)