Fan Voting Presented by Dell Technologies Starts Friday, March 5
Springfield, Mass. — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today the five finalists for the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award. Named after the Class of 1993 Hall of Famer and first player, male or female, named to an All-America Team in four straight college seasons, the annual award in its fourth year recognizes the top shooting guard in in NCAA Division I college women’s basketball.
The five finalists for the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award are Chelsea Dungee (Arkansas), Dana Evans (Louisville), Ashley Owusu (Maryland), Arella Guirantes (Rutgers) and Zia Cooke (South Carolina).
“Annie Meyers played with a flair unlike any other, and while she will always be recognized as the original, it’s exciting to see the student athletes today emulating her style of play,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The young women recognized as finalists for this award have been a lot of fun to watch so far this season and we know their best is yet to come.”
A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in November, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in February and now just five finalists. This month, the finalists will be presented to Ms. Meyers Drysdale and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting 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. Naismith Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, March 5 on hoophallawards.com.
“It brings me great pride to be able to recognize today’s best shooting guards with an award that bears my name,” said Ann Meyers Drysdale, Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 1993. “Over the years, I’ve seen the women’s game continue to evolve and grow and I appreciate any opportunity to celebrate female athletes for their dedication and skill.”
The winner of the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award will be presented on ESPN, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Other 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, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five. Additional information about the award presentation, including date and time, will be released in the coming weeks.
Previous winners of the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award include Aari McDonald, Arizona (2020), Asia Durr, Louisville (2019) and Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State (2018). For more information on the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #MeyersAward on Twitter and Instagram.
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, earning WBL MVP and making 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. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2007, she was the first American woman to be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame. 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. In 2005 she received the ASAMA Ronald Reagan Media Award and in 2019, she was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Pac-12 Hall of Honor.
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.