NORMAN – Oklahoma women’s basketball’s senior center Vionise Pierre-Louis has been named to the watch list for the inaugural Lisa Leslie Award, the Naismith Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Friday.
Pierre-Louis earned All-Big 12 second team honors a year ago, averaging 11.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. The Lake Worth, Fla., native led the Sooners with 14.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks a contest during Big 12 play a year ago.
The senior was recently picked as a Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection. She ranks fourth in school history with 144 career blocks heading into the 2017-18 season.
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 2018 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 at www.hoophallawards.com.
The winner of the 2018 Lisa Leslie Center Award will be announced during ESPN2’s telecast of the national semifinal games in the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, March 30. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award and the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, as well as the Wade Trophy, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious national player of the year award.
“I am honored to be a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and now the namesake of the Center of the Year Award,” said Lisa Leslie, a 2016 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “The women on this watch list are so deserving of this honor and I can’t wait to see how they will make an impact for their teams this season.”