July 7, 2004
DALLAS-Kansas State women's basketball player Nicole Ohlde and Oklahoma quarterback Jason White have been named the eighth female and male Big 12 Conference Athletes of the Year, the league office announced Wednesday.
Female and male athletes of the year are chosen by a panel of athletic administrators from each conference institution and media from each school's region. One female and one male student-athlete per school were nominated by the directors of athletics from each institution. The selections were based upon the 2003-04 athletic performance and academic achievement with citizenship as a tiebreaker.
A first team consensus All-American last season, Ohlde ended her career as the Big 12's and Kansas State's all-time leading scorer in women's basketball with 2,241 points and the school's career rebound leader with 995 boards. The 2003 and 2004 Big 12 Player of the Year and three-time first team All-Big 12 selection guided the Wildcats to their first Big 12 women's basketball conference title in 2003-04. A native of Clay Center, Kan., Ohlde was a two-time finalist for many national player of the year honors as a junior and senior. This past season she was third in the conference in scoring with a 17.5 ppg and ranked among the league leaders in four other stats. Ohlde was the WBCA Division I Player of the Month for January (2004) and earned Big 12 Player of the Week three times - seven for her career. She also became the first player in K-State history to have her jersey No. 3 retired. Besides the points and rebounds she also ranks first on the K-State career list in numerous other stat categories including blocked shots (204), double-doubles (39), and games started (123).
Off the court, Ohlde is a seven-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll and was named second team CoSIDA Academic All-America in '04. The elementary education major was an Academic All-Big 12 selection this past season and was named the 2004 Co-Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year at Kansas State. In the community she participated in the Manhattan Library Reading Program, the KSU Cat Caravans, and the Red Cross blood drives. She also volunteered at the Lincoln Elementary School reading program and at the Clay Center Senior Center.
Ohlde won the Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year from among a solid group of women's nominees. Other 2003-04 Big 12 female student-athletes nominated included Baylor's Cristin Vitek (softball); Colorado's Monique Gerlach (volleyball); Iowa State's Janet Anson (gymnastics); Kansas' Caroline Smith (soccer); Missouri's Lauren Schwartzman (gymnastics); Nebraska's Peaches James (softball); Oklahoma's Anda Perianu (tennis); Oklahoma State's Kristin Dickerson (equestrian); Texas' Sanya Richards (track and field); Texas A&M's Katy Doyle (track and field); and Texas Tech's Kelly Johnson (volleyball).
White will go down as one of the most decorated players in school and league history after guiding Oklahoma to the national championship game last season. In 2003 the Tuttle, Okla., QB was named the school's fourth Heisman Memorial Trophy winner. White was the national player of the year by Associated Press, CNNSI.com, and SI on Campus. Other trophies he earned last fall included the Davey O'Brien Award and the Jim Thorpe Courage Award. A finalist for many other national accolades, White was consensus first team All-America and was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year by numerous outlets for his 40 touchdown passes, 3,846 passing yards, and Big 12 leading 158.0 pass efficiency rating. He also earned first team All-Big 12 honors and was the SBC Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week once last season.
Off the field, White - a sociology major - was an Academic All-Big 12 second team honoree in 2003 and is heavily involved in the OU football team's reading program with community elementary schools. He is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and volunteered for the FCA's football clinic for underprivileged children.
White won this year's award among another great class of nominees. Other male student-athletes nominated included Baylor's Benedikt Dorsch (tennis); Colorado's Dathan Ritzenhein (cross country/track and field); Iowa State's Zach Roberson (wrestling); Kansas' Ryan Baty (baseball); Kansas State's Darren Sproles (football); Missouri's Garrett Broshuis (baseball); Nebraska's Jason Powell (wrestling); Oklahoma State's Johnny Thompson (wrestling); Texas' Ian Crocker (swimming); Texas A&M's Ronny Jimenez (track and field); and Texas Tech's B.J. Symons (football).
Ohlde is the first Kansas State female to be named Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year. In fact Ohlde is the first K-State female to be named its conference athlete of the year dating back to the Big Eight era which started naming the honor for females in 1981. Ohlde joins former K-State basketball standout Rolando Blackmon as the only two Wildcats to be named their conference's athletes of the year. Blackmon was the co-Big Eight Male Athlete of the Year in 1981 with Oklahoma gymnast Bart Connor.
White joins former Oklahoma quarterback Josh Heupel--the 2001 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year --and Sooner basketball great Stacey Dales-Schuman-the 2002 Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year-as OU representatives on the Big 12 list. White is also the fourth football player honored in the eight-year history of the award and second Heisman Trophy winner while joining Ricky Williams of Texas in 1999. Dating back to the Big Eight era, White is the seventh male and eighth overall conference athlete of the year from OU.
BIG 12 CONFERENCE MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
1997 Nanceen Perry, Texas, track
1998 Vera Ilyina, Texas, diving
1999 Suziann Reid, Texas, track
2000 Erin Aldrich, Texas, volleyball/track & field
2001 Greichaly Cepero, Nebraska, volleyball/basketball
2002 Stacey Dales-Schuman, Oklahoma, basketball
2003 Cat Osterman, Texas, softball
2004 Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State, basketball
BIG 12 CONFERENCE FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR WINNERS
1997 Jacque Vaughn, Kansas, basketball
1998 Grant Wistrom, Nebraska, football
1999 Ricky Williams, Texas, football
2000 Charles Howell, Oklahoma State, golf
2001 Josh Heupel, Oklahoma, football
2002 Cael Sanderson, Iowa State, wrestling
2003 Nick Collison, Kansas, basketball
2004 Jason White, Oklahoma, football