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Eastern Michigan’s Tavelyn James Receives 2012 Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (March 5, 2012) – Tavelyn James, a 5-foot-7 guard for the Eastern Michigan University Eagles, is the 2012 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.

James, Eastern Michigan’s all-time leading scorer, is one of only 11 student-athletes in Mid-American Conference history to reach 2,000 points. Holding records is nothing new to James, the university’s record holder in more than a dozen different categories. She ranks third on the conference’s career points list with 2,417, field-goals made (248) and three-pointers made (287). James is currently second in Division I women’s basketball this season in points per game, averaging 24.5.

James – an eight-time Mid-American Conference West Divisional Player of the Week honoree – was a member of USA Basketball’s women’s team that competed in the 2011 Pan American Games.  She is the first MAC student-athlete to make that roster. The health administration major has been named first team all-MAC twice.

"Showing outstanding character and athletic ability, Tavelyn has demonstrated every quality that defines the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "She has established herself as one of the greatest players of all-time in the Mid-American Conference with a remarkable number of records and a true leader for the Eastern Michigan program throughout her career."

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.  

James will be formally recognized during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, April 2, in the Plaza Ballroom at the Sheraton Downtown Denver.  This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Denver.

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
2011 - Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga

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About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association 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 as a sport for women and girls. The WBCA is pleased to join the women's sports community in commemorating the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which was passed by Congress on June 23, 1972, and provides females with equal opportunities in athletics in the U.S. For more information on the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.