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

 ATLANTA (March 4, 2019) – Five of the 10 women’s college basketball players on the semifinalist list, announced today by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, represent schools that have yet to win a Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year. Kristine Anigwe (University of California), Megan Gustafson (University of Iowa), Asia Durr (University of Louisville), Teaira McCowan (Mississippi State University) and Sabrina Ionescu (University of Oregon) seek to be the first to bring home the trophy for their schools, while Notre Dame looks to claim its second Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year with Arike Ogunbowale, who would join 2001 winner Ruth Riley.

Baylor, whose Brittany Griner won the trophy in 2012 and 2013, and Stanford, whose Katie Starbird won in 1997 and Jennifer Azzi won in 1990, are searching for their third win with Kalani Brown and Alanna Smith, respectively. Meanwhile, UConn, which has won more Citizen Naismith Trophies (10) than any other school on the women’s side, is represented by Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, who won the Jersey Mike’s Naismith High School Trophy in 2015. The semifinalists represent nine schools and six conferences nationally. Out of the 10 players, nine are seniors, and Ionescu is the sole junior included.

“As the regular season comes to a close, we will see the talent and commitment of these semifinalists really shine,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We look forward to watching them finish the season strong as these players compete for the 2019 Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy.”

The four finalists will be announced on March 22, 2019, and fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite player of the four beginning that same day through April 3, by visiting to cast their ballot. The fan vote will account for five percent of the overall vote. The 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Player of the Year will be announced on April 6, 2019. The winner will be honored at her school on a later date.

“While only one player can win the Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy, each of these semifinalists has shown the passion and drive worthy of the honor thus far,” said Eric Horowitz, managing director U.S. and travel retail, Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc. “We are looking forward to watching them continue to compete for the title of Women’s Player of the Year.”

2019 Women's Citizen Naismith Trophy Semifinalists

KalaniBrownSr.CBaylorBig 12
MeganGustafsonSr.FIowaBig Ten
TeairaMcCowanSr.CMississippi StateSEC
ArikeOgunbowaleSr.GNotre DameACC
Katie LouSamuelsonSr.GUConnAAC

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 2018-19 college basketball season. The vote will be tabulated and certified by Aprio, formerly Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, the largest full-service, independent CPA-led business advisory firm, based in Atlanta.

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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 Bona, Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.


Citizen, a pioneer in watchmaking and innovative technology since 1918, promotes excellence and creativity with a deep-rooted respect for craftsmanship. Citizen advocates “Better Starts Now,” searching for and accomplishing goals that are cause driven. In this respect, Citizen aligns with organizations and personalities that reflect the values of the brand including the Naismith Awards and Good360.

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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