March 30, 2009
ATLANTA - The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has selected Vanderbilt's Jennifer Risper as the WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year. The WBCA Defensive Player of the Year Award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women's basketball player.
All Division I Conference Defensive Player's of the Year are eligible to be nominated for the award and the selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference representative can select one player to be considered.
"The WBCA is proud to honor Jennifer with the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year Award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Her efforts on the defensive side of the game definitely do not go unnoticed, and she is a very deserving candidate for this award. We congratulate her and Vanderbilt and wish her the best in the future."
Risper, a guard from Moreno Valley, Calif., was recently named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and to the SEC All-Tournament Team, after averaging 11.7 points, 7.7 rebounds during the tournament. This 5-foot-9 guard was also awarded Second Team All-SEC honors for the second straight year after grabbing 2.3 steals per contest, second highest in the SEC. Risper currently stands eighth all-time in career steals at Vanderbilt with 221, including 81 this season, which is the most in the league this year.
In Vanderbilt's second-round NCAA Tournament game versus Kansas State, Risper turned in a career-high 27 points, which included netting 9-of-12 from the field and a near-perfect 9-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Risper started 85 consecutive games for the No. 13-ranked Commodores, who recently lost a heart-breaker on Saturday to top-seeded Maryland, 74-78. It was Vanderbilt's 14th appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Risper will be formally recognized at the WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens at Noon CT on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, in the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront Grand Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four® in St. Louis, Mo.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.