Parker named top prep player

ATLANTA -- Tennessee recruit Candace Parker has been selected as the 2004 Naismith Prep Basketball Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.

Parker helped lead Naperville Central High School to its second consecutive Illinois Class AA State Championship with a 33-2 record. Naperville Central won all 24 games she played, finishing the season with a total of 30 straight wins.

Averaging 24.3 points, 3.3 steals, 3.5 blocks, and 11.5 rebounds per game, Parker had an amazing season despite suffering a torn ACL in July 2003. The 6-foot-4 center/forward finished her career with 2,758 points, and her team was 95-4 in the final 99 games in which she played. Candace is only the second high school female ever to dunk a basketball and the first female to win the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award as a junior (2003).

The 2004 Naismith Female Prep finalists were Alexis Hornbuckle of Charleston, W.Va., Charde Houston of San Diego, Calif., Tasha Humphrey of Gainesville, Ga., and Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood of Lynwood, Calif.