Pierson Named Pre-season Naismith Candidate|
Sept. 26, 2000
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech sophomore forward/center Plenette Pierson was selected as one of the pre-season candidates for the 2000-01 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award. Jackie Bradford, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, announced the candidates today.
Pierson, a native of Kingwood, Texas, is the Lady Raiders' top returning player from last season. The 2000 Big 12 Freshman of the Year averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in leading Tech to its third-straight Big 12 regular-season championship and to the NCAA Elite Eight. Pierson was also named to the 2000 NCAA Mideast Regional All-Tournament team.
The Naismith Awards program, now in its 33rd year, honors the outstanding college basketball players in the United States. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball.
The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. Members of the board were asked to name top male and female players who are most likely to be in contention for the award.
"Both the men's and women's field's, from top to bottom, are extremely talented, " said Bradford. "The race for the Naismith Award will once again be very competitive and exciting."
Last year's Naismith Award recipients were Kenyon Martin from University of Cincinnati and Tamika Catchings from University of Tennessee. The first recipient of the male Naismith Award was Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) of UCLA in 1969. Other college player of the year recipients include many NBA standouts such as Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Christian Laettner. The women's Naismith Award, first presented in 1983 to Anne Donovan of Old Dominion, includes recipients such as three-time winner Cheryl Miller of USC, two-time honorees Clarissa Davis of Texas, Chamique Holdsclaw of Tennessee and Dawn Staley of Virginia.