April 04, 2007

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Announcement Made Today at NCAA Women’s Final Four

(Cleveland, OH) –  Duke University center Alison Bales – a dominating basketball player,
Honor Roll student and role model in the community – is the 2006-07 winner of the Lowe’s Senior
CLASS Award for women’s basketball.  The award, selected by a nationwide vote of coaches,
media and fans, is presented annually to college basketball’s outstanding NCAA Division I senior
student athlete.
The announcement and trophy presentation was made today by Lowe’s and aired nationally
on ESPN during the NCAA Women’s Final Four telecast. 
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s
Senior CLASS Award has grown into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors.  The award
identifies personal qualities that define a complete student athlete, with criteria including excellence
in the classroom, character and community, as well as performance on the court. 
“This is an extremely exciting time of year for us at Lowe’s because awarding the Senior
CLASS Award is about so much more than honoring talented athletes,” said Bob Gfeller, SVP of
Marketing and Advertising at Lowe’s. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is about acknowledging
hard-working students who embody the spirit of their communities.  Alison has set a great example
for us as she reflects on the goals she has accomplished and the promising future ahead of her.”
Bales is the second Duke women’s player to win this national honor in the Senior CLASS
Award’s six-year history, joining 2004 recipient Alana Beard.  Combining with the men’s award,
Duke has claimed three awards in six years as J.J. Reddick claimed the 2006 men’s honor. 
Past recipients of the women’s award include Sue Bird of Connecticut (2002), LaToya
Thomas of Mississippi State (2003), Alana Beard of Duke (2004), Kendra Wecker of Kansas
State (2005) and Seimone Augustus of LSU (2006).
“It is truly a honor to be recognized as the Lowe’s Senior Class Award winner,” Bales said. 
“This award embodies a lot of different qualities that my parents instilled in me growing up and I am
blessed to conclude my collegiate career with an honor like this.  To have my name mentioned
along with the likes of Sue Bird, LaToya Thomas, Alana Beard, Kendra Wecker and Seimone
Augustus is tremendous as all of them were amazing collegiate players and people.”

Bales’ presence on the court was so forceful that opposing coaches claimed they had to
alter game plans around the 6’7” center, regarded as the one of the nation’s best defensive
players.  She blocked a Duke-record 151 shots, the second highest total in NCAA women’s
basketball history.  She finished her career third on the NCAA’s all-time block charts with 434 in
four years.  She helped guide Duke to the best start in school and ACC history with a 30-0 record,
then took the nation’s No. 1 ranking into the NCAA Tournament.  She finished the season by
averaging 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.0 assists per game. 
A former high school McDonald’s All-American from Dayton, Ohio, Bales was attracted to
Duke because of its academic reputation.  She will graduate in May 2007 with a degree in cultural
anthropology and is a three-time ACC Honor Roll selection.  With an interest in a medical career,
she is currently involved in a year-round program called CAPE (Collegiate Athlete Pre-Medical
Experience), which is offered by the Duke University Medical Center to female athletes to provide
clinical experiences and exposure to the world of Medicine. 
During her four years at Duke, Bales has been very involved in the community.  She has
consistently visited children at the Ronald McDonald House and has been very supportive of
Special Olympics, volunteering at events and coaching young athletes.  She is passing on her
basketball skills and knowledge by teaming with Harding to coach an 11-12 year old recreation
league girls team in Durham.
Duke Coach Gail Goestenkors, who has built the Duke women’s basketball program into a
national powerhouse and has now coached two Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winners said, “I am
so proud and glad for Alison to have received the Lowe’s Senior Class Award. Over her career,
she made a tremendous impact on both the offensive and defensive ends while developing into
one of the top basketball players in the nation.  Alison is not only an excellent student-athlete, but
has also made an impact in the Durham community during her career at Duke.”
The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award also names an All-Senior All-America Team each year
based on voting results of the finalists.  Joining Bales on the 2006-07 First Team is:  Lindsey
Harding of Duke, Katie Gearlds of Purdue, Kate Hobbs of Navy and Shay Doron of Maryland. 
The Second Team is Amanda Brown of Penn State, Jessica Davenport of Ohio State, Dee
Davis of Vanderbilt, Ivory Latta of North Carolina and Shay Murphy of Southern California.
Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first
conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s
basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. 
Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, has expanded the Senior CLASS Award
program this year to include NCAA Division I men’s hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball and softball
in addition to men’s and women’s basketball.  The winner in each sport will be announced at the
respective NCAA Championship events.