SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Sacramento State junior point guard Fantasia Hilliard has been named to the watch list for the Nancy Lieberman Award, given annually to the top point guard in NCAA Div. I, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today.
Hilliard is one of 29 of the top points guards in the nation that were named to the watch list, which includes players such as Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Bria Hartley of Connecticut, and Amber Orrange of Stanford. The list will be trimmed to 20 in February and 5 by March before being presented at the Women's Final Four.
Hilliard ranks fifth in the NCAA with 7.2 assists per game this season and has recorded four games with double-digit assists. She equaled her career-high of 12 assists against Montana State two weeks ago and is second on Sacramento State's career assist leaderboard with 428 career helpers, just 25 shy of the program record.
She has also picked up her scoring this season and ranks second on the team with 13.4 points per game while leading the squad with three double-doubles. Through four Big Sky games she is leading the team shooting 51.2% from the field with 16.3 points and 6.8 assists per game.
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 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame became the new host of the Nancy Lieberman Award in October 2013 after the Rotary Club of Detroit managed it for several years.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to award a young athlete that shows the same sort of dedication to the game of basketball as the legendary Nancy Lieberman," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "This award is our chance to recognize some truly extraordinary point guards in women's college basketball."
The Hall of Fame appointed a premier Selection Committee made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers to review the candidates.
"It's amazing to be able to have my name associated with some of the best point guards and most well-rounded female athletes at the college level," Lieberman said. "This is the first year the award is hosted by the Hall of Fame and I think candidates will be even more aware of how prestigious this honor is."
Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include last year's recipient Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Sue Bird (Connecticut), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut), Lindsey Harding (Duke), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga), Temeka Johnson (LSU), Kristi Toliver (Maryland), Ivory Latta (North Carolina), and Andrea Riley (Oklahoma State).