DENVER (April 2, 2012) -- Baylor’s Brittney Griner earned another player of the year award Wednesday night, winning the 2012 State Farm® Wade Trophy, as well as being named the 2012 WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year. Head coach Kim Mulkey also took home Russell Athletic/WBCA Coach of the Year honors.
The State Farm Wade Trophy, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball,” is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the WBCA and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS). Now in its 35th year, the State Farm Wade Trophy, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. The award debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball.
“It has truly been a pleasure watching Brittney compete on the basketball court this season,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Brittney is the best of the best and earned this honor by showcasing the highest level of play in the game during the 2011-12 season.”
Griner, a 6-foot-8 post, has led Baylor to its second NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in three seasons and a perfect 39-0 mark. She is averaging 23.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 5.2 blocks per game while shooting 60.7 percent from the floor and 80.3 percent from the free throw line. Griner has twice been named an All-American by the WBCA, AP, USBWA and Wooden Award and is a two-time WBCA Defensive Player of the Year. She was named most outstanding player of the Des Moines Regional and the Big 12 Championship, Big 12 Player of the Year, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and is a finalist for every major postseason award.
Mulkey, in her 12th year as head coach of the Baylor Lady Bears, has guided her team to a perfect 39-0 record, Big 12 championship and ninth straight NCAA tournament berth. The Big 12 Coach of the Year’s squad earned a No. 1-overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Mulkey will look to lead her team to an NCAA Championship and perfect 40-0 season Tuesday. Should the Lady Bears find success in the championship game, Mulkey’s team will become the first in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to reach a 40-0 record.
“The WBCA congratulates Kim Mulkey on being named the 2012 RUSSELL ATHLETIC/WBCA NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year,” Bass said. “She was selected by her peers and is deserving of this honor after a terrific season.”