Competition for the 2018 Citizen Naismith Trophy for Women’s Top Player of the Year Begins with 50 Candidates to Watch

ATLANTA (November 29, 2017) – To continue its momentum into the 50th celebration season of the Citizen Naismith Trophy, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced 50 women’s college basketball players to watch for the Citizen Naismith Player of the Year Trophy.  A list of the midseason 30 team will be released on Feb. 12, 2018.

“We are excited to announce 50 talented candidates vying to win the 2018 Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy as we head into our 50th celebration season,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “This upcoming season should be one to remember, and the journey to become the women’s top player of the year begins today.”

Kristine AnigweJr.C/FCaliforniaPac-12
Ariel AtkinsSr.GTexasBig 12
Kenisha BellJr.GMinnesotaBig Ten
Monique BillingsSr.FUCLAPac-12
Allazia BlocktonJr.GMarquetteBIG EAST
Lexie BrownSr.GDukeACC
Kalani BrownJr.CBaylorBig 12
Tyra BussSr.GIndianaBig Ten
Jordin CanadaSr.GUCLAPac-12
Kaila CharlesSo.GMarylandBig Ten
Napheesa CollierJr.FUConnAAC
Sophie CunninghamJr.GMissouriSEC
Crystal DangerfieldSo.GUConnAAC
Asia DurrJr.GLouisvilleACC
Katelynn FlahertySr.GMichiganBig Ten
Rebecca GreenwellSr.GDukeACC
Marie GulichSr.COregon StatePac-12
Megan GustafsonJr.FIowaBig Ten
Linnae HarperSr.GOhio StateBig Ten
Ruthy HebardSo.FOregonPac-12
Chanette HicksJr.GVirginia TechACC
Myisha Hines-AllenSr.FLouisvilleACC
Sabrina IonescuSo.GOregonPac-12
Kaylee JensenSr.COklahoma StateBig 12
Jackie KemphSr.GSaint LouisAtlantic 10
Kitija LaksaJr.FUSFAAC
Marina MabreyJr.GNotre DameACC
Tynice MartinJr.GWest VirginiaBig 12
Stephanie MavungaSr.FOhio StateBig Ten
Brooke McCartySr.GTexasBig 12
Teaira McCowanJr.CMississippi StateSEC
Brittany McPheeSr.GStanfordPac-12
Kelsey MitchellSr.GOhio StateBig Ten
Teana MuldrowSr.FWest VirginiaBig 12
Jaime NaredSr.GTennesseeSEC
Kia NurseSr.GUConnAAC
Arike OgunbowaleJr.GNotre DameACC
Caliya RobinsonJr.FGeorgiaSEC
Mercedes RussellSr.CTennesseeSEC
Katie Lou SamuelsonJr.G/FUConnAAC
Jessica ShepardJr.FNotre DameACC
Azura StevensJr.FUConnAAC
Tianna TarterSr.GETSUSoCon
Shakayla ThomasSr.FFlorida StateACC
Victoria ViviansSr.GMississippi StateSEC
Morgan WilliamSr.GMississippi StateSEC
Danni WilliamsJr.GTexas A&MSEC
Gabby WilliamsSr.FUConnAAC
A’ja WilsonSr.FSouth CarolinaSEC
Jackie YoungSo.GNotre DameACC

With nine different conferences represented on the list, the players come from across the country. A total of 10 candidates represent the ACC, and the SEC follows closely with nine players on the Watch List. UConn, which has won more Citizen Naismith Trophies (10) than any other school, leads the Watch List with six players, followed by Notre Dame with four candidates and Ohio State and Mississippi State with three candidates apiece. Players who do not make the Watch List are still eligible to be selected for the midseason 30 list.


Celebrating 50 Years of the Citizen Naismith Trophy

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, which have become the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Players of the Year. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coaches of the Year, Boys’ and Girls’ High School Basketball Players and Coaches of the Year, Basketball Officials and Outstanding Contributors to the game. Celebrating its 50th year by honoring past winners, the Citizen Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969. Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1983.


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 Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, Naismith Awards, National Merit Scholarship, 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