Full Naismith Release
Courtesy of Toledo Sports Information
ATLANTA, GA - Senior Naama Shafir has been named to the 2012-13 Naismith Women's Early Season Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced over the weekend. Shafir is the lone representative from the Mid-American Conference to make the prestigious list.
The 50 player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-13 season. The Naismith Women's College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 8, 2012 in New Orleans.
Shafir is beginning her fifth season as the director of the Rockets' attack in 2012-13. The four-time Preseason All-MAC West Division honoree is contributing 9.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, a squad-best 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals in a team-high 33.0 minutes through the first two games this season.
Shafir is returning to the Rockets for the 2012-13 campaign after being granted a medical hardship waiver from the Mid-American Conference. The three-time All-MAC selection has one season of competition remaining before her five-year eligibility clock expires.
Shafir was lost for the final 30 contests of the 2011-12 campaign after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during UT's 69-58 win at Big Ten member Indiana (Nov. 25).
Shafir, who has started 108 consecutive games, is averaging 13.6 points, 5.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 30.3 minutes in her UT career.
The Hoshaya, Israel currently sits fourth in UT annals in assists (577), fifth in free throws made (441), eighth in points (1,470), tied for eighth in steals (173), tied for ninth in scoring average (13.6 ppg), 10th in minutes played (3,276) and tied for 10th in free-throw percentage (76.6%, 441-of-576).
Other notable players on this year's watch list include Baylor's Brittney Griner, Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins and Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike. Delle Donne, Diggins and Ogwumike are all former Naismith High School Girl's Player of the Year award winners.
In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. In March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.
The Naismith women's Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to the women's college basketball player of the year.
Shafir and the Rockets (1-1) return to the hardwood on Tuesday, Nov. 20 when they battle Mountain West Conference member Colorado State. The opening tip against the Rams is slated for 7:00 p.m. (MT) in Moby Arena.