Candace Parker continues to pick up more college titles for her mantle even though she has moved on to the WNBA. The University of Tennessee Lady Vol won SEC Female Athlete of the Year this week. Florida’s Heisman Trophy winning quartback Tim Tebow was named Male Athlete of the Year.
The 2007-2008 Roy F. Kramer SEC Female and Male Athletes of the Year were announced on Wednesday. The two were chosen by votes from the league’s athletics directors and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.
“The SEC is very proud to honor Tim and Candace, as they are outstanding examples of what a student-athlete can accomplish, both on and off the field of competition,” Slive said in a release. “Their hard work and dedication to excellence have made them fine representatives of their universities and this conference. We congratulate them and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
Parker led the Lady Vols to back-to-back national championships for the second time in school history. She graduated in May and was named the Honda-Broderick Cup recipient as the best female collegiate athlete in 2008, AP Player of the Year and MVP of the NCAA Final Four. Parker averaged 21.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.4 blocks and 2.3 steals in 38 games in the 2008 season.
The Lady Vols went on to a 36-2 record and the program’s eighth NCAA Championship in her final season. The 36 wins are the second-highest in school history behind the undefeated 1997-1998 team that went 39-0.
She left UT with school records that include most dunks, free throws made and attempted in a game, blocks, free throws made and attempted in a single season, and as the career leader in dunks, blocks, free throws made and attempted. Parker is the fourth Lady Vol with 2,000 points in her career and the eighth to pull down 900 rebounds in school history.
Parker was selected No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft and is now playing for the Los Angeles Sparks with former Lady Vols Sidney Spencer and Shannon Bobbitt.
She is also the second back-to-back Lady Vol SEC athlete of the year. Softball pitcher Monica Abbott won the award in 2006-2007. Parker is the eighth Vol to earn the SEC Athlete of the Year award. Past recipients include: two-time winner Chamique Holdsclaw (basketball, 1998-1999, 1997-1998), Peyton Manning (football, 1998), and Todd Helton (baseball, 1995).
The SEC Athletes of the Year Awards were first given in 1976 for men and 1984 for women. The award was named the Roy F. Kramer Athletes of the Year in 2004 to honor the former commissioner who served the conference from 1990-2002.
Other female nominees were: Charlotte Morgan, Alabama (softball); Stacy Lewis, Arkansas (golf); Ava Ohlgren, Auburn (swimming); Caroline Bruckle, Florida (swimming); Katie Heenan, Georgia (gymnastics); Kari Retrum, Kentucky (diving); Sylvia Fowles, LSU (basketball); Brittney Reese, Ole Miss (track & field); Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State (softball); Blakely Mattern, South Carolina (soccer); Amanda Taylor, Vanderbilt (tennis).
The male nominees were: Michael Thompson, Alabama (golf); Darren McFadden, Arkansas (football); : Cesar Cielo, Auburn (swimming); Gordon Beckham, Georgia (baseball); Rashaud Scott, Kentucky (track & field); Glenn Dorsey, LSU (football); Erling Tveit, Ole Miss (tennis); Jamil Hubbard, Mississippi State (track & field); Jason Richardson, South Carolina (track & field); Chris Lofton, Tennessee (basketball); Shan Foster, Vanderbilt (basketball).