“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 Katrina McClain Award. Named after the two-time All-American and 1987 National Player of the Year, the annual award in its third year recognizes the top power forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
The five finalists for the 2020 Katrina McClain Award are Lauren Cox (Baylor), Kiah Gillespie (Florida State), Naz Hillmon (Michigan), Ruthy Hebard (Oregon) and Bella Alarie (Princeton).
“This season has been one of the best in women’s college basketball and these finalists have significantly contributed to the outstanding level of play,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We’re grateful for players like Ms. McClain who paved the path for today’s female athletes and we are thankful that she generously contributes her time and expertise to the selection process for the award bearing her name.”
The Selection Committee for the Katrina McClain 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 hope that our five finalists feel proud to be nominated for this award. They are each such skillful players and it will be very difficult to choose just one winner,” said Katrina McClain-Pittman, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2012. “I am honored to work alongside the Basketball Hall of Fame and I look forward to watching the finalists finish their seasons.”
The winner of the 2020 Katrina McClain Power 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 Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.
Previous winners of the Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award include Napheesa Collier, Connecticut (2019) and Ruthy Hebard, Oregon (2018). For more information on the 2020 Katrina McClain Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #McClainAward on 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.