“Naismith Starting Five” Fan Voting to Open Friday, March 13 at 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 2020 Cheryl Miller Award. Named after the three-time Naismith Player of the Year and Class of 1995 Hall of Famer, the annual award in its third year recognizes the top small forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
The five finalists for the 2020 Cheryl Miller Award are Megan Walker (Connecticut), Ashley Joens (Iowa State), Rhyne Howard (Kentucky), Satou Sabally (Oregon) and Michaela Onyenwere (UCLA).
“The five finalists selected have shown many of the characteristics that Cheryl Miller showed throughout her highly-successful career, and they should be proud to be nominated for such a prestigious award,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Since her days at USC, Ms. Miller has proven that she is one of the greats of the game. We are thankful to have her expertise as we watch and evaluate the finalists down the stretch.”
The Selection Committee for the Cheryl Miller Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalists when the Starting Five Fan Voting goes live on Friday, March 13 via www.hoophallawards.com.
“I am privileged to be the namesake of this award and I am thankful to the Basketball Hall of Fame for the opportunity,” said Cheryl Miller, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 1995. “It has been an honor to be involved in the selection process and I look forward to meeting this year’s winner in Los Angeles.”
The winner of the 2020 Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.
Previous winners of the Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year Award include Bridget Carleton, Iowa State (2019) and Gabby Williams, Connecticut (2018). For more information on the 2020 Cheryl Miller Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #MillerAward on Twitter and Instagram.
About Cheryl Miller:
Cheryl Miller took women's basketball to a new level, literally and figuratively. With her tremendous leaping ability, athletic dexterity and grace, Miller established a legacy throughout her high school and college career that is unparalleled. Playing for Riverside Polytechnic High School (CA), in 1982, Miller set the single game scoring record of 105 points. As a collegiate forward at the University of Southern California from 1982 to 1986, Miller helped bring women's basketball to the forefront of American sports. In 1984, she led the Olympic team to gold averaging more than 16 points per game. Her superior athletic ability and engaging persona placed her among the elite in the world of college and professional athletics. In 1986, Sports Illustrated named Miller as the best male or female player in college basketball. In a spectacular career, Miller scored 3,018 total career points and was a four-time All-America. Miller was named Naismith Player of the Year three times and earned the Wade Trophy once. Miller was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2010. Since retiring from professional play, Miller has had a very successful career as a WNBA GM, professional and collegiate coach, and sportscaster for TNT, ESPN and NBC for the 1996 Olympics.
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.