Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Women's Basketball Coaches Association Announce Five Finalists for 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fan Voting to Open Friday, March 2 on HoophallAwards.com


SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today the five finalists for the 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award. Named after the first player, male or female, appointed to the All-America Team in four straight college seasons and a 1993 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the annual award in its inaugural year recognizes the top shooting guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.

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. Drysdale 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 think it is wonderful that the Basketball Hall of Fame and the WBCA have created positional awards to recognize elite female players in the college game today,” Ann Meyers Drysdale said. “I look forward to watching these five finalists compete as they head into the postseason and elevate their games to help their teams advance.”

The five finalists for the 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award are Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut), Asia Durr (Louisville), Victoria Vivians (Mississippi St.), Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame), and Kitija Laksa (South Florida).

The winner of the 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale 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 Nancy Lieberman Point 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.


For more information on the 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, visit www.hoophallawards.com.


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 and made 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. 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.


About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of FameLocated 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:

Visit us online: www.hoophallawards.com

… on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BHOF

… on Twitter/Instagram: @hoophall #MeyersAward

… or call 1-877-4-HOOPLA


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

… on Facebook: www/facebook.com/WBCA1981/

… on Twitter/Instagram: @wbca1981

… or call 770-279-8027