Napheesa Collier from the University of Connecticut, Kelsey Mitchell of the Ohio State University, University of Washington’s Kelsey Plum, and A’ja Wilson from the University of South Carolina are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for Basketball as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 41 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 26, 2017, in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The Honda Sport Award winner for Basketball will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Collier, a sophomore forward from O’Fallon, Missouri, is a finalist for the Naismith, Wooden and USBWA Drysdale awards. The 2017 AAC Co-Player of the Year unanimous first-team All-American leads the team in rebounding and blocks and helped UConn to another perfect regular season along with a 10th consecutive trip to the NCAA Final Four.
Plum became the All-time NCAA scoring leader after passing former Honda Cup winner Jackie Stiles in career scoring. She is the 2017 AP & espnW Player of the Year along with the Pac-12 Player of the Year. She is a unanimous first-team All-American and finalist for the Wooden, Naismith, Lieberman, Dawn Staley and USBWA Drysdale Awards. The senior guard from Poway, Calif., was also named a Senior CLASS Award finalist and became first player in Pac-12 history, female or male, to score 3,000 career points.
Mitchell, a junior guard from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a two-time Big 10 Player of the Year and three-time All-American. She is a Lieberman and Staley Award finalist in 2017 and is a three-time first-team All-Big 10. She is third on OSU’s all-time scoring list and the OSU and Big Ten’s all-time leader in career three-pointers made.
Wilson is a two-time Honda Sport Award nominee and was twice named the SEC Player of the Year. The junior forward from Hopkins, S.C., is also a two-time Naismith, Wooden and USBWA Drysdale finalist and a two-time unanimous first-team All-American. The SEC Tournament MVP, she led team to its third-straight SEC Tournament title and has a career-high 13 20-point games and nine double-doubles.
Honda Sport award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup award presented in June.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 41 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.