April 3, 2004
NEW ORLEANS, LA. - Duke University senior Alana Beard was named the winner of the State Farm Wade Trophy and Associated Press National Player of the Year on Saturday at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans, La. Also, on Saturday Beard was named Kodak All-America for the third straight year.
Beard now has earned four National Player of the Year accolades this season, including the most prestigious award in women's basketball, the State Farm Wade Trophy. She also won the USBWA and ESPN.com national awards. In the Associated Press voting, Beard received 39 of a possible 47 votes for player of the year.
Beard, a Shreveport, La., native led the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in scoring (19.7) and finished the season with averages of 5.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks a contest, while leading Duke to a 30-4 record and a Mideast Region Final appearance. The Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll for the first time in school history and finished her career with eight ACC Championships- four tournament and four regular season titles.
For her career, Beard compiled 2,687 points, 789 rebounds, 509 assists, 404 steals and 149 blocks. She became the first player in NCAA men's or women's history to register over 2,500 points and 400 steals and will leave Duke as the all-time leading scorer for men and women. The senior guard led the Blue Devils to two NCAA Final Four appearances and became only the second woman to be named Associated Press first team All-America on three occasions.
She also became Duke's first women's basketball player to have her jersey retired, was the first ACC player to be named first team All-ACC each of her four years and was the first three-time ACC Player of the Year.
"Nothing is possible without my teammates. For me to be standing up here and accepting these awards, I think it would be very selfish of me not to mention my teammates. Without them I would not be where I am today."
"My experience at Duke has been great. I don't think I could of gotten this experience anywhere else in the country. I left Louisiana homesick but I am glad I did. I don't regret anything as I have grown so much as a person. If I would of stayed in Louisiana I wouldn't be the person I am today."
On not making it to the final four
"It is a disappointment, but we cannot allow it to overshadow what we have done. The senior class has brought so much to this program. We had a great season and wonderful career. I have loved every minute of it."
Do winning these awards help ease the disappointment in losing in the Elite Eight:
"I don't think anything would ever ease the disappointment. If I was here playing, it means that my team was here, but I am here by myself accepting these awards. If I was here with my teammates accepting these awards, it would be awesome. I am not going to take anything from this as it is an honor to have won these awards that I have won. But we all know I could not of accomplished any of this without my teammates."
" I am just really happy for Alana. Hopefully, it will help ease her pain a bit. She has worked so hard for so long. I think it is fitting because she has always put her team above herself and team goals above individual goals. Yet today, she has won two of the biggest individual awards available to a women's college basketball player."
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2004 Kodak All-Americans
Seimone Augustus* LSU SO G/F 6'1" Alana Beard*** Duke University SR G 5'11" Shyra Ely* University of Tennessee JR F 6'2" Chandi Jones* University of Houston SR G/F 5'10" Kelly Mazzante*** Penn State University SR G 6'0" Janel McCarville* University of Minnesota JR F/C 6'2" Nicole Ohlde** Kansas State University SR F/C 6'5" Nicole Powell*** Stanford University SR F 6'2" Diana Taurasi*** University of Connecticut SR G/F 6'0" Lindsay Whalen** University of Minnesota SR G 5'9"