SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – Courtney Vandersloot, a 5-foot-8 senior guard for the Gonzaga University Bulldogs, is the 2011 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation's outstanding female collegian 5-feet-8-inches and under who has excelled both athletically and academically.
A finalist for the State Farm® Wade Trophy, Naismith Trophy and John R. Wooden Trophy in 2010, Vandersloot is once again on the watch lists for all three awards this year. She is also a finalist for the 2011 Nancy Lieberman Award, which honors the nation’s top collegiate point guard. Vandersloot recently was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year for an unprecedented third-straight season. She was the WCC Newcomer of the Year in 2008 and was the Seattle Times 2007 State Player of the Year her senior season at Kentwood High School in Covington, Wash.
Vandersloot, a sport management major at Gonzaga, is a big reason why the Bulldogs lead the nation in scoring offense at 86.2 points per game. She leads the NCAA in assists for the second-straight year, dishing out 9.9 assists per game. She also leads the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.19) and is 18th in the nation in steals per game (3.0). She became the fourth player in NCAA history to pass out 1,000 assists in their career, currently totaling 1,048. She also led the West Coast Conference in scoring with 18.7 points per contest, which is currently 27th in the country.
"Courtney has distinguished herself as one of the top players in the country with her third consecutive conference player of the year award," stated John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "Not only has she demonstrated unmatchable leadership on the court during her senior season, but her entire career deserves recognition as we place her alongside the previous recipients of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award."
The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award is named in honor of James Naismith's daughter-in-law. A panel of representatives from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) selects the recipient. To earn the award, the recipient must demonstrate leadership, character, loyalty, all-around basketball ability and excellence in the classroom.
Vandersloot will be formally recognized during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the Indianapolis Convention Center’s Sagamore Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Indianapolis.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame pays tribute to the game's inventor, Dr. James Naismith. Located in Springfield, Mass., “the Birthplace of Basketball,” Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves men and women’s basketball at every level -- professional, collegiate, scholastic, Olympic, international and wheelchair.
Previous Winners of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award
1984 Kim Mulkey, Louisiana Tech
1985 Maria Stack, Gonzaga
1986 Kamie Ethridge, Texas
1987 Rhonda Windham, Southern California
1988 Suzie McConnell, Penn State
1989 Paulette Backstrom, Bowling Green
1990 Julie Dabrowski, New Hampshire College
1991 Shanya Evans, Providence College
1992 Rosemary Kisorek, West Virginia
1993 Dena Evans, Virginia
1994 Nicole Levesque, Wake Forest
1995 Amy Dodrill, Johns Hopkins
1996 Jennifer Rizzotti, Connecticut
1997 Jennifer Howard, North Carolina State
1998 Angie Arnold, Johns Hopkins
1999 Becky Hammon, Colorado State
2000 Helen Darling, Penn State
2001 Niele Ivey, Notre Dame
2002 Sheila Lambert, Baylor
2003 Kara Lawson, Tennessee
2004 Erika Valek, Purdue
2005 Tan White, Mississippi State
2006 Megan Duffy, Notre Dame
2007 Lindsey Harding, Duke
2008 Jolene Anderson, Wisconsin
2009 Renee Montgomery, Connecticut
2010 Alexis Gray-Lawson, Cal-Berkeley
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.