Seven Semifinalists Looking to Win the First Naismith Trophy for their Schools

ATLANTA (March 3, 2020) – More than half of the 10 women’s college basketball players on the Citizen Naismith Trophy semifinalists list, announced today by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, represent schools that have yet to win the Women’s Player of the Year award. Rhyne Howard (Kentucky), Dana Evans (Louisville), Kaila Charles (Maryland), Aari McDonald (Arizona) and three Oregon players—Ruthy Hebard, Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally—seek to be the first to bring home the trophy for their schools.

South Carolina looks to claim its second Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year with two contenders Aliyah Boston and Tyasha Harris, who would join 2018 winner A’ja Wilson. South Carolina Head Coach Dawn Staley also took home the Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1991 and 1992 while playing for the University of Virginia. Baylor, whose Brittany Griner won the trophy in 2012 and 2013, is searching for its third win with Lauren Cox. The semifinalists represent five schools and five conferences nationally. Boston, the sole freshman on the list, would be the first freshman to bring home the Women’s Player of the Year honor. The list of 10 also includes five seniors, three juniors and one sophomore.

“As we near the end of the regular season, the top players in the country have really emerged, not just in leading their teams to tremendous success, but as individuals who have a tremendous opportunity to win the  2020 Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

The four finalists will be announced on March 20, 2020, and fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite player of the four beginning that same day through April 1, by visiting to cast their ballot. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall vote. The 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 4, 2020. The winner will be honored at her school on a later date.

“As the title sponsor of the Naismith Trophy, Citizen is proud to support and honor accomplished student athletes like these semifinalists,” said Eric Horowitz, managing director U.S. and travel retail, Citizen Watch America. “We’re excited to see which of these players will advance to become finalists for the Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year.”

2020 Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy Semifinalists

AliyahBostonFr.FSouth CarolinaSEC
KailaCharlesSr.GMarylandBig Ten
LaurenCoxSr.FBaylorBig 12
DanaEvansJr. GLouisvilleACC
TyashaHarrisSr.GSouth CarolinaSEC
RuthyHebardSr. FOregonPac-12
RhyneHowardSo.GKentucky SEC
SabrinaIonescu Sr. GOregonPac-12
AariMcDonaldJr. GArizonaPac-12
SatouSabally Jr. FOregonPac-12

The four finalists will be chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2019-20 college basketball season. The vote will be tabulated and certified by Aprio, a premier CPA-led business advisory firm, headquartered in Atlanta. The winning player will be awarded with the Citizen Naismith Trophy, produced and provided by Herff Jones, leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students. A replica trophy will be donated by Herff Jones to the respective school in recognition of award recipient.

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Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.


Citizen, a pioneer in watchmaking and innovation since 1918, promotes excellence and creativity with a deep-rooted respect for craftsmanship. Citizen advocates “Better Starts Now,” searching for and accomplishing goals that cultivate positive change. Driven to create timepieces enjoyed by citizens all over the world, Citizen formed an alliance partnership with Disney in 2018, another powerhouse brand with similar values. With a long-term partnership in place, Citizen participates in activations surrounding the Disney Parks, Marvel, Star Wars and more. Citizen is the Official Timepiece of both Walt Disney World and Disneyland with branded clocks in both theme parks.

For over 40 years, Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology has served as the prime example of how the brand is dedicated to making the world and its environment a better place. A simple yet revolutionary concept, Eco-Drive harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy, eliminating the need for any battery replacement.


 Media Contact:

Traci Messier

Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club

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