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Cubaj Named to Power Forwards Watch List

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech women’s basketball’s Lorela Cubaj will open the 2021-22 season as one of 20 power forwards named to the 2022 Katrina McClain Award watch list. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced the candidates on Thursday after a national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the initial watch list of 20 power forwards.

The reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Cubaj returns to The Flats after averaging a double-double last season behind 12.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. She led the team and ACC in rebounding, while finishing 12th in the nation last season. Cubaj posted 17 games last season securing double-figure rebounds and led the Jackets with 14 double-doubles to rank first in the ACC and 16th in the nation. A 2021 WBCA NCAA Division I Coaches’ All-America honorable mention choice, Cubaj also led Georgia Tech in blocks last season and broke into the career record book with 909 career rebounds to rank fourth.

Named after the two-time All-American and 1987 National Player of the Year, the Katrina McClain Award recognizes the top power forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. The watch list of 20 players will be narrowed down to 10 candidates and then in late February, the list will be further narrowed to five. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Ms. McClain, and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee will select a winner. College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. Fan voting will go live on Friday, Oct. 29.

Previous winners of the Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award include NaLyssa Smith (Baylor – 2021), Ruthy Hebard (Oregon – 2018, 2020) and Napheesa Collier (Connecticut – 2019).

For more information on the 2022 Katrina McClain Award, log onto and follow @hoophall and #McClainAward on Twitter and Instagram.

The Yellow Jackets’ get the 2021-22 season underway by hosting Clayton State in an exhibition contest on Monday, Nov. 1, before officially tipping off the season at Central Michigan on Nov. 9. Tech’s competitive schedule is highlighted by 17 home games, including a visit from No. 2 UConn on Thursday, Dec. 9. Season and single game tickets for the 2021-22 women’s basketball season are on sale now. Season ticket packages are just $65, offering fans the best ticket value and a reserved seat for all Georgia Tech women’s basketball home games. Fans can purchase tickets online at, by calling 1-888-TECHTIX, or in person at the Georgia Tech Ticket Office. Fans can also sign up at to receive information on special offers and presale opportunities.

2022 Katrina McClain Award Candidates*

NaLyssa SmithBaylor
Lauren GustinBYU
Lorela CubajGeorgia Tech
Maddi UttiLong Beach St.
Olivia CochranLouisville
Naz HillmonMichigan
Sam BrunelleNotre Dame
Nyara SaballyOregon
Taylor JonesOregon St.
Sania FeaginSouth Carolina
Cameron BrinkStanford
Alexus DyeTennessee
Dorka JuhaszUConn
Aaliyah EdwardsUConn
Alissa PiliUSC
Bethy MunungaUSF
Maddy SiegristVillanova
Kari NiblackWest Virginia
Esmery MartinezWest Virginia
Raneem ElgedawyWestern Kentucky


*Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2021-22 season




About Katrina McClain-Pittman:

Katrina McClain-Pittman was a prolific rebounder and terrific scorer in a career that spanned three Olympic Games and three continents. Before she earned her stripes for USA Basketball, McClain-Pittman starred at the University of Georgia where she was a two-time Kodak All-American and the WBCA National Player of the Year her senior season. She left Georgia as the school’s second all-time leading scorer and rebounder, averaging a double-double her final two seasons in Athens. The Lady Bulldogs reached the 1985 NCAA Final Four and national championship game with McClain-Pittman controlling the paint and Teresa Edwards running the offense. The two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year finished her international career with two Olympic gold medals and one bronze, three FIBA World Championships medals, and five medals at the Goodwill Games, Pan Am Games, and World University Games. In all, McClain-Pittman appeared on eleven USA Basketball rosters becoming one of the most decorated athletes in USA Basketball history. She has been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, the Georgia State Hall of Fame, and the National High School Hall of Fame, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


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