IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior All-American Megan Gustafson has been named to the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award Watch List, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Friday.
Named after the three-time All-American and 1994 National Player of the Year, the annual award in its second year recognizes the top centers in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
Gustafson, the 2017-18 Big Ten Player of the Year (media), was named the 2018-19 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year and a unanimous All-Big Ten selection on Monday. The All-American led the NCAA in points per game (25.7), field goal percentage (67.1), and field goals made (320) last season. Gustafson became one of only two NCAA women’s basketball players in the last 10 years to average 24 or more points and 12 or more rebounds (Chiney Ogwumike, 2014).
A native of Port Wing, Wisconsin, Gustafson enters her senior season with 1,803 career points and 979 rebounds, putting her in position to become the seventh Big Ten student-athlete to register 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. Gustafson is also in position to break Iowa’s all-time career scoring and rebounding marks. Ally Disterhoft set the all-time career scoring record of 2,102 in 2017, while Cindy Haugejorde’s set the career rebound mark of 1,067 in 1980.
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. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award will be narrowed to just 10. 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 finalist.
The winner of the 2019 Lisa Leslie Center Award will be revealed on an ESPN platform during the 2019 Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Florida.
The Hawkeyes open the 2018-19 season with an exhibition contest against Dakota Wesleyan on Nov. 6. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
2019 Lisa Leslie Award Candidates
|Channon Fluker||Cal State Northridge|
|Teaira McCowan||Mississippi St|
|Jaisa Nunn||New Mexico|
|Janelle Bailey||North Carolina|
|Brianna Turner||Notre Dame|
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2018-19 season*