“Naismith Starting 5” Fan Voting to Open Friday, March 15 at HoophallAwards.com
Springfield, Mass. (Mar. 12, 2019) — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today thefive finalistsforthe2019 Ann Meyers DrysdaleAward. Named after the first player, male or female, named to the All-America Team in four straight college seasons, the annual award in its second year recognizes the top shooting guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in October, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in February and now just five finalists. This month, fivefinalistswillbepresentedtoMs. Meyers DrysdaleandtheHallofFame’sselectioncommittee. The winner of the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans are encouraged to visit www.HoophallAwards.com to cast their votes March 15-29.
“The five finalists in contention for this year’s award have really proven themselves throughout their collegiate careers,” said Ann Meyers Drysdale, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 1993. “Selecting a winner will be no easy task for our committee, but I look forward seeing how this season plays out and honoring the Naismith Starting 5 in Tampa.”
The five finalists for the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award are Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut), Maci Morris(Kentucky), Asia Durr (Louisville), Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame) and Kiana Williams (Stanford).
The winner of the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award will be revealed during the WBCA Coaches’ All-America/Naismith Starting 5 Presentation on Thursday, April 4, at the Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Florida.Additional awards being presented and recognized at the award show include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, and the Lisa Leslie Center Award. Also being awarded is the Wade Trophy, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award which is presented annually by the WBCA’s community of coaches to the best player in college women’s basketball.
Last season,Victoria Viviansof Mississippi State was named the inaugural winner of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
For more information and the latest updates on the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, log on to www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophalland #MeyersAwardon Twitter and Instagram.
About Ann Meyers Drysdale:
Ann Meyers Drysdale's career escalated women's basketball to a new level. She was the first high school player to make the United States national team and the first woman to receive a full four-year athletic scholarship to UCLA. Her high-octane approach translated into wins and awards and she finished her impressive career at UCLA owning 12 of 13 school records including becoming the first player to record a quadruple double in UCLA history. A supremely talented all-around player with natural basketball ability and instincts, Meyers Drysdale was the first player, male or female, named to an All-America team in four straight seasons and was named Player of the Year during her senior year. While still at UCLA, she started on the first women's Olympic team in 1976. After an All-America career, she became the first player drafted into the Women's Basketball League, earning WBL MVP and making history by becoming the first female player to tryout with an NBA team, the Indiana Pacers, with whom she signed a free agent contract. Meyers Drysdale pushed the envelope in women's basketball, bringing a feel and sense for the game that few players ever exhibited. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2012, Meyers Drysdale became one of the first annual naming honorees on the women’s side of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) with the organization’s National Women’s Player of the Year.Since retiring from professional play, she has had a very successful career as an NBA and WNBA executive, as well as a color commentator for the NBA, WNBA and the Olympic Games in 1984, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. In 2005 she received the ASAMA Ronald Reagan Media Award and in 2019, she was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Pac-12 Hall of Honor.
About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to those organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. For more information, visit us online: www.WBCA.org, follow @wbca1981 or call 1-770-279-8027.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo "Court of Dreams." Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.