#11 Niesha Butler
G 5-8 So. New York, N.Y./Riverdale Country
Exciting playmaker is a candidate for all-conference, all-America and national player of the year honors … A pre-season candidate for the Naismith Player of the Year Award, given by the Atlanta Tipoff Club … Could become just the third player in school history to score 1,000 career points in their second season … Also has a chance to reach the 1,000-point plateau faster than any other women’s basketball player at Tech.
1998-99 (FRESHMAN SEASON)
Was the ACC’s and one of the nation’s top freshmen … Named ACC Rookie of the Year in a unanimous vote by the Atlantic Coast Conference Sportswriters Association … Became the first Tech player to earn conference Rookie-of-the-Year honors … Also named to the ACC All-Freshman team … Was a second-team all-conference choice … Won ACC Rookie of the Week honors seven times, the most ever by a Tech player … Named to the national All-Freshman Team by the Women’s Basketball News Service and to the Freshman All-America Team by the Women’s Basketball Journal … Was the youngest player invited to the 1999 USA Basketball World University Games Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo … Became the first freshman to start every game and lead Tech in scoring since Kisha Ford, who averaged 16.2 points during the 1993-94 season … Also led the Jackets in field goals made (178), field goals attempted (445), free throws made (135), free throws attempted (191), assists (120) and blocked shots (20) … Her 19.3 points per game average tied Karen Lounsbury for the highest single-season scoring average by a Tech freshman … Was the second-leading freshman scorer in the nation behind UNLV’s Linda Froehlich, who averaged 23.5 ppg … Butler’s 19.3 ppg ranked second overall in the ACC, but she led the league in scoring in conference games at 21.3 ppg … Also ranked in the ACC’s overall top-10 in assists (third, 4.4 apg); steals (ninth, 1.7 spg); free throw percentage (10th, .707) and blocked shots (t10th, 0.7 bpg) … Scored in double figures in 25 of 27 games, including 13 20-plus point outings … Recorded the third-highest single-game point total in school history with a 40-point performance in Tech’s 92-70 win over Florida State on Jan. 2, 1999 in Atlanta … Joined Marielle Walker (43 vs. Iona, Dec. 20, 1987) and Kisha Ford (41 vs. East Tennessee State, Feb. 9, 1994) as the only players in Tech history to score 40 or more points in a game … Scored a game-high 29 points in Tech’s 91-84 upset of No. 7/6 North Carolina on Jan. 24, 1999 in Atlanta, playing the last 8:57 with four fouls … Tied for a team/game-high 24 as the Jackets edged No. 17/14 NC State, 74-73, on Dec. 5, 1998 in Raleigh … Named to the all-tournament teams at the Georgia Tech/Atlanta Mariott Northwest Classic and the Georgia Tech/Atlanta Marriott Northwest Holiday Invitational … Tied school records for most free throws attempted in a game (20, at North Carolina, Dec. 3, 1998) and season (191) … Preseason ACC Rookie of the Year selection.
First-team All-New York City selection … Named one of USA Today’s Super 25 high school girls basketball players for 1997-98 … Rated the No. 37 high school prospect in the nation by Blue Star Index … Preseason fourth-team All-America selection by Street & Smith’s … Established a new career high school scoring for boys or girls in New York City during her junior season, breaking the mark previously held by former Georgia Tech men’s point guard Kenny Anderson … Went over the 3,000-point plateau on Feb. 14, 1998 … Ended her five-year varsity career at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx with 3,127 points … Missed nine games with a knee injury to start the year, but came back to average 25 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals per game in 1997-98 … Averaged 28 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals for her career … Led Riverdale to a 23-5 record and the State Federation Class D Championship, earning MVP honors after recording 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a 62-35 win in the title game against Bishop Loughlin … Scored 23 points to lead Riverdale to the New York State Association of Independent Schools title with a victory over Horace Mann … An honorable mention preseason all-America by Street & Smith as a sophomore and junior while playing at Columbia Prep … Verbally committed to Georgia Tech in a Jan. 11 press conference at Madison Square Garden during a high school tournament.
Born Sept. 3, 1980 … Majoring in international affairs … Is the daughter of George Lawrence and Mrs. Alice Johnson … Started the first after school basketball program for young girls in New York City … Was active in the Urban Youth Club, working with kids after school … Volunteered her time with young children whose parents have AIDS … Involved in an after-school reading program … Featured on Good Day New York, a Good Morning America syndicate, on March 15, 1998 … Named one of New York Magazine’s most interesting people … Was featured in Sports Illustrated, New Yorker and Vibe while in high school … Was one of eight teenagers selected nationwide to have their own web site in which her diary was printed each month for others to read and ask questions … Modeled for several magazines, including Seventeen … Auditioned for the lead role in Spike Lee’s upcoming movie, Love and Basketball.