ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The player of the year for
women's basketball will be honored for the first time by the
U.S. Basketball Writers Association along with
the nation's top men's players and the coach of the year at the
College Basketball Awards hosted by the
Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on April 15.
The women's player of the year will be presented with the
Ann Meyers Drysdale Award named for the former
UCLA great. The men's awards include presentation of the
Oscar Robertson Trophy to the player of the year, the
Wayman Tisdale Award to the freshman of the year
and the Henry Iba Award to the coach of the year.
All of the awards will be presented at a dinner at the MAC's
downtown St. Louis location.
"The CBA dinner is an annual highlight on the USBWA calendar,
replete with the game's luminaries," said USBWA President David
Teel, columnist for the Newport News Daily Press. "We are grateful
to the Missouri Athletic Club for hosting this celebration of college
The MAC was the first to host the CBA during the 2005 NCAA Final
Four in St. Louis. The awards were presented at the Final Four for
many years before moving to Oklahoma City for five years. After
a one-year hiatus, the event returned to St. Louis last year, with
the MAC successfully hosting the dinner before a sold-out crowd
of over 500 people. Last fall, the USBWA and the MAC reached an
agreement to hold the dinner at the MAC for the next four years.
"The Missouri Athletic Club is looking forward to continuing
our partnership with the USBWA," Missouri Athletic Club President
Keith Phoenix said. "Having the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments
of the best in college basketball fits perfectly with our Club's
tradition of celebrating athletic excellence, which began with our
involvement in the 1904 Olympics and carries through today with
our hosting premier sports banquets like the Jack Buck Awards and
the Hermann Trophy."
Ann Meyers Drysdale is one of the first women to be inducted
into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Time Magazine once called her one of the top 10 greatest athletes
of all time. She is still the only woman to ever sign a free agent
contract with an NBA team, the Indiana Pacers in 1979.
Meyers Drysdale was the first player to be part of the U.S. National
team while still in high school. She led the U.S. women's team to
a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics. Ann Meyers was the first woman
to be signed to a four-year scholarship at UCLA and went on to become
a four-time All American for the Bruins. In 1978, she was named
winner of the Broderick Award as the top women's collegiate player
in the country.
She currently is a vice president for the Phoenix Suns. "Annie
was one of the best players ever," said Boston Celtics great Bill
Russell. "I didn't say male or female. I said ever."
The men's player of the year award is named after one of the
greatest players in college basketball history, Oscar Robertson.
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is the only player of the year award
named for a player. "The Big O" was the first player of the year
selected by the USBWA in 1959. The USBWA named the award after Robertson
Previous player of the year winners include: Anthony Davis, Kentucky
(2012), Blake Griffin, Oklahoma (2009), Kevin Durant, Texas (2007),
Michael Jordan, North Carolina (1984), Ralph Sampson, Virginia (1981,
'82, '83), Larry Bird, Indiana State (1979), Bill Walton, UCLA (1972,
'73, '74), Lew Alcindor, UCLA (1967, '68) and Jalen Brunson, Villanova,
The freshman of the year award honors the late Oklahoma standout
Wayman Tisdale. Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American and
was the first freshman ever to be named a first-team All-American
by the USBWA. Tisdale passed away in 2009 following a courageous
and difficult battle with cancer.
Past freshman of the year winners include Lonzo Ball, UCLA (2017),
Anthony Davis, Kentucky (2012), Larry Hughes, St. Louis (1998) and
Trae Young, Oklahoma (2018).
The coach of the year award is named for the legendary Henry
Iba, who is recognized as one of the greatest college coaches of
all time. Iba won 655 games in his career and led Oklahoma A&M
(now Oklahoma State) to NCAA championships in 1945 and 1946. He
also coached the U. S. Olympic teams to gold medals in 1964 and
1968 and a silver medal in 1972.
Coaches who have the award in the past include Bill Self, Kansas
(2009), Roy Williams, twice with North Carolina (2006) and Kansas
(1990), Charlie Spoonhour, St. Louis (1994), Bob Knight, twice with
Indiana (1989, '75), John Wooden, five times with UCLA (1967, '70,
'71, '72, '73) and Tony Bennett, two times with Virginia (2015,
'18) and once with Washington State (2007).
All of the player and coach awards are voted on at the end of
the regular season by the USBWA membership.
Tickets for the dinner go on sale to the public on March 15 at
collegebasketballawards.eventbrite.com. Tickets are $150 per
person and include dinner, drinks and parking in the MAC garage.
Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Jim Wilson
at the MAC at 314-539-4488.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was
formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter
Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. It has selected an All-America
team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA
and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at