30 women named preseason John R. Wooden All-Americans

Updated: August 13, 2003, 8:07 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- Thirty players including Diana Taurasi of NCAA champion Connecticut and Alana Beard of Duke have been selected as preseason John R. Wooden Award All-Americans.

The Wooden Award will be presented to the nation's top female basketball player for the first time in April. The men's award began in 1976.

Taurasi led the Huskies to their second straight national title last season, averaging 17.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

Beard led the Blue Devils to a second straight Final Four appearance, averaging 22 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.8 steals.

The other Final Four teams have two players each on the list. They are Texas' Stacy Stephens and Heather Schreiber and Tennessee's Shyra Ely and Loree Moore.

Penn State and Kansas State also have two representatives each. They are Kelly Mazzante and Tanisha Wright of Penn State, and Nicole Ohlde and Kendra Wecker of Kansas State.

Southern California is represented with forward-center Ebony Hoffman.

The 30 players announced Wednesday were selected based on last season's individual performances and team records. The list will be pared to 20 players in mid-January, and then 10-to-15 players who maintain a 2.0 grade-point average.

A national media panel will then cast votes for the five-member All-American team and the Wooden Award winner.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index