SPRINGFIELD, MASS. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today the 10 candidates for the 2018 Lisa Leslie Award. Named after the three-time All-American, 1994 National Player of the Year and a 2015 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the annual award in its inaugural year recognizes the top centers in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.

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“Before Lisa Leslie became one of the most recognizable faces of the WNBA, she was a collegiate center unlike any other,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Her impact was immediate as the best freshman in the collegiate game and she continued to develop her skills each season. The ten women recognized as candidates for the award bearing Lisa’s name should be both proud and honored.”

The Selection Committee for the Lisa Leslie Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Leslie and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalists to determine the Naismith Starting 5 at www.hoophallawards.com.

The winner of the 2018 Lisa Leslie Center Award will be announced during ESPN2’s telecast of the national semifinal games in the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, March 30. 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 Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, as well as the Wade Trophy, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award which is presented annually by the WBCA’s community of coaches to the best player in college women’s basketball.

Name School
Kalani Brown Baylor
Azura Stevens Connecticut
Megan Gustafson Iowa
Hallie Thome Michigan
Teaira McCowan Mississippi State
Kaylee Jensen Oklahoma State
Marie Gulich Oregon State
A'ja Wilson South Carolina
Mercedes Russell Tennessee
Monique Billings UCLA

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2017-18 season*