Friday, December 4th, 2020

The 2020 Naismith Starting Five announced

Published on April 6, 2020

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The Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced this year’s five positional award winners, the Naismith Starting Five. A selection committee for each award to evaluated candidates throughout the 2019-20 season. Fans also had the opportunity to vote for their favorites.

2020 Women’s Naismith Starting Five

  • Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon) – Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award
    • 17.5 pts/gm, 8.6 reb/gm, 9.1 ast/gm, 92.1 ft%, 8 triple-doubles
  • Aari McDonald (Arizona) – Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award
    • 20.6 pts/gm, 5.6 reb/gm, 3.6 ast/gm, 2.3 stl/gm
  • Satou Sabally (Oregon) – Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year Award
    • 16.2 pts/gm, 6.9 reb/gm, 2.3 ast/gm, 79.2 ft%
  • Ruthy Hebard (Oregon) – Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award
    • 17.3 pts/gm, 9.6 reb/gm, 68.5 fg%, 16 double-doubles
  • Aliyah Boston (South Carolina) – Lisa Leslie Center of the Year
    • 12.5 pts/gm, 9.4 reb/gm, 60.9 fg%, 2.5 blk/gm

Quotes from Hall of Famers on Naismith Starting Five Award Winners

“Sabrina Ionescu is now in elite company as a back-to-back and only the second, three-time winner of the Lieberman Award. I’m proud to have paved the way, but even prouder of this generation of ball players and the direction the game is headed. Sabrina has cemented herself in basketball history, not just for women, but for all collegiate players, and I can’t wait to see what she will accomplish at the next level of the game.” – Nancy Lieberman, Class of 1996

“Aari McDonald was a force to be reckoned with in the most competitive conference in the nation this season. While selecting a winner from our extremely talented group of finalists was no easy task, Aari has consistently contributed the intangibles to her team and elevated their level of play as a whole.” – Ann Meyers Drysdale, Class of 1993

“Satou Sabally is the total package – an outstanding athlete, tremendous leader, and exceptional teammate. Our committee was extremely impressed by her level of play throughout the season, doing all the right things alongside teammates that typically received a higher level of fanfare and media attention. Satou is undoubtedly ready for the WNBA!” – Cheryl Miller, Class of 1995

“Ruthy Hebard and the Oregon Ducks were nearly unstoppable this season, and while it’s unfortunate we won’t see who would have taken home the championship trophy this season, there is no doubt that Ruthy Hebard was the most dominant power forward. I’m proud to honor Ruthy with the McClain Award for the second time in her outstanding collegiate career.” – Katrina McClain, Class of 2012

“Aliyah Boston is perhaps one of the most talented freshmen the women’s game has ever seen. With her combination of intelligence, athleticism, and coachability, there is no limit to what this young woman can achieve. It was a pleasure to watch Aliyah and her South Carolina teammates under the direction of Hall of Famer Dawn Staley this season.” – Lisa Leslie, Class of 2015

Quotes from Women’s Naismith Starting Five Award Winners

“It’s an honor to receive the Lieberman Award for the third straight year. Congratulations to the other finalists that were up for the award as well. To be able to receive an award named after one of the best basketball players of all-time is humbling. Thank you to my teammates, coaches and everyone that has played a part in helping me along the way.” – Sabrina Ionescu, Nancy Lieberman Award Winner

“First, I want to thank my family, teammates, and coaches. None of these awards and honors would be possible if I didn’t play with the best teammates in the country for the best coaches. They continuously push me to be the best I can be, and I am truly grateful that I have had the opportunity to spend the last three years of my life with them. Thank you to Ann Meyers and the Basketball Hall of Fame for recognizing me with this award. It’s definitely a silver lining to the season that left our program and many others with unfinished business. We’ll come back hungrier next season, to keep pushing and take this program to places it has never been.” – Aari McDonald, Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Winner

“I am beyond thankful to receive this award. It is a reminder of Cheryl Miller’s success and the imprint she made on women’s basketball. I want to thank all of my amazing teammates and coaches who have helped me throughout my journey.” – Satou Sabally, Cheryl Miller Award Winner

“It is a great honor. I am so blessed to be able to win such a respected award not only once, but twice. It means the world to me and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, coaches and family pushing me to be my best every day. I am so proud of all my team, and especially Satou and Sabrina. It is nice to see all of our hard work recognized and to continue to make history with them.” – Ruthy Hebard, Katrina McClain Award Winner

“Winning this award means so much to me, especially since it is named after one of the best to ever play the game – Lisa Leslie. I want to thank God because it would not have been possible without Him. And, I also want to thank my teammates and coaching staff for helping me to play in a way that is deserving of this award.” – Aliyah Boston, Lisa Leslie Award Winner


 

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