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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Nancy Mulkey Selected to Lisa Leslie Award Watch List

Posted: November 13, 2020 -- 12:50 p.m. CT

Rice senior center Nancy Mulkey was named as one of 20 watch list candidates for the Lisa Leslie Award, which recognizes the top centers in women's NCAA Division I college basketball.

Also selected to the Lisa Leslie Award Watch List last preseason, Mulkey was voted this year's Conference USA Co-Preseason Player of the Year and named to the C-USA Preseason Team. The two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year ranked fifth in the NCAA last season in blocks per game (3.21) and earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team for a second straight season after averaging 12.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks during league play.

"Lisa Leslie is an icon of the game, as one of the most decorated players of all-time at the collegiate, international, and professional level," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "The student-athletes being considered for the Lisa Leslie Award are without a doubt some of the most talented in the game today and we are very excited to watch them take the court this season. We thank Lisa for her involvement in this selection process, as well as our esteemed committee members and Dell Technologies who makes our fan voting component possible."

College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In early February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2021 Lisa Leslie Award will be narrowed to just 10. In early March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Leslie and the Hall of Fame's selection committee.

The winner of the 2021 Lisa Leslie Center Award will be presented at on Friday, April 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. 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, in addition to the Men's Starting Five.

Previous winners of the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award include Aliyah Boston, South Carolina (2020), Megan Gustafson, Iowa (2019); and A'ja Wilson, South Carolina (2018).

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For more information on the 2021 Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award and the latest updates, log onto and follow @hoophall and #LeslieAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, November 13.

2021 Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award Candidates*

Queen Egbo Baylor
Hannah Gusters Baylor
Sara Hamson BYU
Olivia Nelson-Ododa Connecticut
Jade Williams Duke
Kristin Scott Iowa State
Ameshya Williams Jackson State
Ayoka Lee Kansas State
Elissa Cunane NC State
Kate Cain Nebraska
Janelle Bailey North Carolina
Shakira Austin Ole Miss
Eleah Parker Penn
Nancy Mulkey Rice
Kamilla Cardoso Syracuse
Antoinette Lewis South Alabama
Aliyah Boston South Carolina
Charli Collier Texas
Ila Lane UC Santa Barbara
Elizabeth Kitley Virginia Tech

* - Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2020-21 season

CLICK HERE for more news and info about the Rice Owls men's basketball team.

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