Dec. 11, 2006
Atlanta, Ga. -
Auburn sophomore DeWanna Bonner was one of 50 preseason candidates selected for the Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday. The Naismith is an annual award which honors the national player of the year in men's and women's basketball.
The Top 50 list is selected based on last year's performances and expectations for the 2006-07 season. It was complied by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. In January the field will be narrowed to 30; those players and other who distinguish themselves throughout the season will be eligible for the final ballot in March.
Bonner was one of nine Southeastern Conference players selected. Bonner leads the Tigers offense with 17.5 point per game while also putting up a team best 8.3 rebounds per game so far this season. She has scored in double figures in all but two games this season. Bonner finds herself in the top-five in the SEC this season in scoring (third, 17.5), free throw percentage (fifth, .833) and defensive rebounds (third, 6.00).
Last season, she led the Tigers with 13.5 points per game and became the first rookie to lead the team since Becky Jackson did as a freshman in the 1980-81 season. Bonner was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after finishing in the top 10 in the league in scoring. Bonner scored in double figures in 22 games during the 2005-06 season.
Over the summer, Bonner competed with the USA Basketball U20 National Team. At the FIBA Americas U20 Championship, Bonner scored 14 points and helped lead the U.S. to a gold medal, defeating Brazil, 96-54.
Seimone Augustus of LSU won the award the past two seasons. Other notable winners include Diana Taurasi, Cheryl Miller, Chamique Holdsclaw and Sheryl Swoopes.