Fan Voting to Open Friday, March 2 on HoophallAwards.com
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today the five finalists for the 2018 Nancy Lieberman Award. Named after the Hall of Famer, three-time All-American and two-time National Champion at Old Dominion University, the annual honor now in its nineteenth year recognizes the top point guards in Division I women’s college basketball. To be considered for this prestigious award, candidates must exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of the award’s namesake.
A national committee of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers narrowed the original award watch list of 20 players to 10 candidates and now just five finalists. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2018 Nancy Lieberman Point 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 2-23.
“I am honored and blessed to have my name associated with the award annually presented to the best point guards in college basketball,” Lieberman said. “The young woman who earns this award will be in tremendous company, with her name etched in history among legends of the game such as Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi.”
The five finalists for the 2018 Nancy Lieberman Award are Kia Nurse (Connecticut), Lexie Brown (Duke), Katelynn Flaherty (Michigan), Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio St.), and Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon).
The winner of the 2018 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award will be announced during ESPN2’s telecast of the national semifinal games in the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, March 30. The award will then be presented to the student-athlete on Saturday, March 31 at a new awards reception presented by the Basketball Hall of Fame and the WBCA and held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Each award will be presented by its respective Hall of Famer making this brunch a star-studded event.
Additional awards being presented include the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, as well as 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.
Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include Kelsey Plum, Washington (2017), Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut (2015-16), Odyssey Sims, Baylor (2014), Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame (2012-13), Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga (2011), Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State (2010), Renee Montgomery, Connecticut (2009), Kristi Toliver, Maryland (2008), Lindsey Harding, Duke (2007), Ivory Latta, North Carolina (2006), Temeka Johnson, LSU (2005), Diana Taurasi, Connecticut (2003-04), and Sue Bird, Connecticut (2000-02).
For more information on the 2018 Nancy Lieberman Award, log onto www.hoophallawards.com.
About Nancy Lieberman: Playing hoops on the rough-and-tumble Harlem courts, Brooklyn-bred Nancy Lieberman learned to play a physical, aggressive style of basketball unlike other women of her time. As a 5'10" point guard, Lieberman was taller than many of the guards of her era, and her ability to drive to the hoop, dish out assists, and grab hard-fought rebounds served her well during her stellar career. Lieberman led Old Dominion University to back-to-back AIAW national championships in 1979 and 1980. In 1986, she signed to be the first women to play in a men’s professional league in the USBL with the Springfield Fame and in 1987 with the Long Island Knights. She was twice named as the Wade Trophy winner — a basketball first. As the nation's top female athlete during those two seasons, Lieberman was the two-time winner of the Broderick Cup as well. Lieberman played professionally in the Women's Professional Basketball League, Women's American Basketball Association, United States Basketball League, Women's National Basketball Association and with the Washington Generals. Earning WBL MVP honors with the Dallas Diamonds in 1981, she led the team to the 1984 WABA championship and was league MVP. In 2011, she was the first women Head Coach hired in the NBA D-League for the Dallas Mavericks affiliate the Texas Legends. In 2015, she became only the second women hired as an Assistant Coach in the NBA with the Sacramento Kinds. She was named a recipient of the 2017 Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award for her on-going philanthropic work across the country through her Nancy Lieberman Charities, changing the lives of underserved youth across the country.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.
For more information:
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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
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