DURHAM, N.C. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Thursday the 20 watch list candidates for the 2018 Katrina McClain Award, which includes Duke University sophomore Leaonna Odom.
Named after the two-time All-American and 1987 National Player of the Year, the annual award in its inaugural year recognizes the top power forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
Odom, one of the most athletic players to put on a Blue Devil uniform, is primed for a breakout season in 2017-18. The 6-2 forward averaged 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals as a rookie, while earning All-ACC Freshman team honors. Odom, who hails from Lompoc, Calif., tallied a career-high 23 points and six rebounds in her NCAA Tournament debut against Hampton last season. She closed her rookie campaign scoring double-digits in five of her final seven games.
Other Katrina McClain Award candidates include Lauren Cox (Baylor), Kristine Anigwe (California), Camille Zimmerman (Columbia), Napheesa Collier (UConn), Haley Lorenzen (Florida), G’mrice Davis (Fordham), Caliya Robinson (Georgia), Ashunae Durant (Hofstra), Megan Gustafson (Iowa), Myisha Hines-Allen (Louisville), Erykah Davenport (Miami), Jordan Frericks (Missouri), Ruthy Hebard (Oregon), Michelle Nwokedi (Penn), Bella Alarie (Princeton), Mael Gilles (Rutgers), Maria Jesperson (South Florida), Jatarie White (Texas).
The Selection Committee for the Katrina McClain Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2018 Katrina McClain Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. McClain-Pittman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Fans will also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite finalist at www.hoophallawards.com.
The winner of the 2018 Katrina McClain Power Forward 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.
The Blue Devils will open the 2017-18 campaign Sunday, Nov. 12 at Grand Canyon with a 5 p.m. (ET) tip in Phoenix, Ariz. The game will be aired live on ESPN3.