Springfield, Mass. (Mar. 14, 2019) — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today the five finalists for the 2019 Katrina McClain Award. Named after the two-time All-American and 1987 National Player of the Year, the annual award in its second year recognizes the top power forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
A national committee comprising 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, five finalists will be presented to Ms. McClain-Pittman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2019 Katrina McClain Power Forward 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.
“I’m very excited to continue the annual tradition of the Naismith Starting 5, recognizing the best in the women’s game today,” said Katrina McClain-Pittman, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2012. “Our five finalists, including last year’s winner Ruthy Hebard, are a remarkable group of young women and I hope they feel a sense of pride in this accomplishment.”
The five finalists for the 2019 Katrina McClain Award are Lauren Cox(Baylor), Reyna Frost (Central Michigan), Napheesa Collier(Connecticut), Ruthy Hebard(Oregon) and Alanna Smith (Stanford).
The winner of the 2019 Katrina McClain Power Forward 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 includethe Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, theCheryl Miller Small Forward Awardand 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,Ruthy Hebardof Oregon was named the inaugural winner of the Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award.
For more information and the latest updates on the 2019 Katrina McClain Award, log on to www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #McClainAwardon Twitter and Instagram.
About Katrina McClain-Pittman:
Katrina McClain-Pittman was a prolific rebounder and terrific scorer in a career that spanned three Olympic Games and three continents. Before she earned her stripes for USA Basketball, McClain-Pittman starred at the University of Georgia where she was a two-time Kodak All-American and the WBCA National Player of the Year her senior season. She left Georgia as the school's second all-time leading scorer and rebounder, averaging a double-double her final two seasons in Athens. The Lady Bulldogs reached the 1985 NCAA Final Four and national championship game with McClain-Pittman controlling the paint and Teresa Edwards running the offense. The two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year finished her international career with two Olympic gold medals and one bronze, three FIBA World Championships medals, and five medals at the Goodwill Games, Pan Am Games, and World University Games. In all, McClain-Pittman appeared on eleven USA Basketball rosters becoming one of the most decorated athletes in USA Basketball history. She has been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, the Georgia State Hall of Fame, and the National High School Hall of Fame, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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.