Odyssey Sims of Baylor University is the winner of the 2014 Wade Trophy, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show. The prestigious award, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball,” is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the WBCA and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America).
"On behalf of the WBCA and the NAGWS, I am honored to present Odyssey with the State Farm Wade Trophy - women's basketball's highest honor," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Odyssey was a force to be reckoned with this season and was a pleasure to watch."
Earlier this week Sims was named a WBCA All-American for the third consecutive season (2012, 2013, 2014). She was also named a USBWA All-American for the third time and to the AP All-American first team for the second consecutive year (2013, 2014). Sims, an Irving, Texas, native, was named the Frances Pomeroy Naismith winner, collected Big 12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors earlier this season. She was also a finalist for the 2014 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year presented by the United States Marine Corps.
By Sims earning the 2014 Wade Trophy, Baylor became just the second school to have a winner in three consecutive years. Brittney Griner won the award in 2012 and 2013. Connecticut’s Maya Moore was honored three times (2009, ’10, ’11). In addition, BU became just the second school to have different players recognized in consecutive years, joining UConn’s Rebecca Lobo (1995) and Jennifer Rizzotti (1996) and Sue Bird (2002) and Diana Taurasi (2003).
Sims set a Big 12 Conference single season scoring record with 1,054 points. She became just the second player to ever score over 1,000 points in a single season, and was just eight points shy of Jackie Stiles’ record (1,062 points).
Sims set career records at Baylor for most assists (572) and most three-point field goals made (223). In her senior season she averaged 28.4 ppg., 4.6 apg., 4.6 rpg. and 2.0 spg, while shooting 45 percent from the floor, 39 percent from behind the arc and 80.4 percent from the free throw line.
The Wade Trophy, now in its 37th year, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. The award debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball.
The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many standouts such as Nancy Lieberman (1979 & 1980), Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), Seimone Augustus (2005 & 2006), Maya Moore (2009-2011) Brittney Griner (2012 & 2013).
The Wade Trophy Coalition was established in June 2000 when the WBCA partnered with The National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), now known as the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America. For the past 11 years the two have worked together to present The Wade Trophy player of the year award. A committee composed of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States selects the winner.