Top Twenty Female Collegiate Point Guards Named to Watch List
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today the 20 watch list candidates for the 2018 Nancy Lieberman Award. Now in its nineteenth year, the award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to annually present the Nancy Lieberman Award to the top female point guard in the college game,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “This year, we’re excited to announce the addition of four more positional awards. Like Ms. Lieberman, these student-athletes have worked tirelessly to achieve their goals and are very deserving of our recognition.”
The Selection Committee for the Nancy Lieberman Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2018 Lieberman Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist at www.hoophallawards.com.
The winner of the 2018 Lieberman Award will be announced at an inaugural awards ceremony hosted by the Basketball Hall of Fame, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, and ESPN at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio. ESPN broadcast information will be released at a later date.
“Since 2000, the Nancy Lieberman Award committee has identified the best point guards in the game,” Lieberman said. “When you look at the list of winners over the past 18 years, we’ve celebrated players with extraordinary talent, grit and leadership skills. To earn this award, is to be recognized among the greats and the women on this watch list should be proud of their accomplishments thus far.”
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.
2018 Nancy Lieberman Award Candidates
Kennedy Leonard - Colorado
Kia Nurse - Connecticut
Lexie Brown - Duke
Tianna Tarter - East Tennessee State
Loren Cagle - Lipscomb
Sydni Means - Mercer
Katelynn Flaherty - Michigan
Kenisha Bell - Minnesota
Morgan William - Mississippi St.
Kelsey Mitchell - Ohio St.
Sabrina Ionescu - Oregon
Teniya Page - Penn St.
Jackie Kemph - Saint Louis
Bianca Cuevas-Moore - South Carolina
Jessica Kovatch - St. Francis (PA)
Brooke McCarty - Texas
Jordin Canada - UCLA
Chanette Hicks - Virginia Tech
Emily Clemens - Western Illinois
Deja Wimby - Western Michigan
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2017-18 season*
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.
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