LOS ANGELES, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Only the second woman to dunk in NCAA tournament play, Brittney Griner has won the Honda Sports Award for basketball, culminating an historic season in which she led her Baylor University team to a 40-0 record and the national championship. Her selection by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program recognizes Griner as the country's top female athlete in her sport.
The three-time All-American was named AP Player of the Year for 2012 and the most outstanding player of the Final Four, where she executed a one-handed dunk against the Florida Gators. The 6-foot-8 center from Houston, Texas, averaged 23.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and a national high 5.2 blocks per game this season, setting a Big 12 women's scoring record. At the end of three seasons, the junior also became the first women's collegiate player to score more than 2,000 points and block more than 500 shots and needs just 65 blocks to become the all-time block shot leader. In Baylor's 80-61 NCAA championship victory over the Lady Irish of Notre Dame, Griner had 26 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks.
"I am both humbled and honored to receive the Honda Sports Award for women's basketball," said Griner. "I want to thank the voters and Collegiate Women Sports Awards for this prestigious honor, as well as my coaches, teammates, and especially my mom and dad, for without all of them, this would not be possible."
Griner has said she will return to Baylor for her senior year and forgo entering the WNBA. She is among 21 finalists and the only collegiate player competing for a spot on the USA Women's National Basketball Team that will travel to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In the fall of 2011, Griner spent two weeks on the national team during a European training tour.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As a Honda prize recipient, Griner becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup. She was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Stanford University, Skylar Diggins of the University of Notre Dame, and Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware.
Baylor Director of Athletic Communications, Julie Bennett
CWSA Media Contact, Ann Herold
SOURCE Honda Sports Award