Georgia Tech sophomore Niesha Butler was named a preseason candidate for the 2000-01 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award, Jackie Bradford, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, announced September 26.
Butler, a redshirt sophomore guard, earned Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the year honors in 1999 and was a Freshman All-America selection by the Women’s Basketball News Service and the Women’s Basketball Journal. Sheaveraged 19.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as a freshman.
Butler also was a preseason candidate for the Naismith Player of the Year Award last season, but suffered a torn ACL in just the fourth game of the season and missed the rest of the year.
A native of New York, N.Y., Butler is one of 30 candidates for the prestigious award. The candidates were selected by a vote of the Board of Selectors, comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball analysts. The Naismith Awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to recognize the achievements of student-athletes in basketball.
“Both the men’s and women’s fields, from top to bottom, are extremely talented,” Bradford said. “The race for the Naismith Award will once again be very competitive and exciting.”
Butler is in a selective group of the nation’s top basketball players, headlined by Tennessee’s Tamika Catchings, who won the award last year.