Jon McBride | Posted: 13 Nov 2020 | Updated: 24 Dec 2020

Hamson named to Lisa Leslie Award watch list

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Sara Hamson posing with arms crossed with Lisa Leslie Award Watchlist logo

Springfield, Mass. (Nov. 13, 2020) — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association has named BYU’s Sara Hamson one of 20 candidates for this year’s Lisa Leslie Award.

Named after the three-time All-American, 1994 National Player of the Year and Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie, the annual award in its fourth year recognizes the top centers in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

“It’s great honor for Sarah to be recognized as one of the best centers in the country,” said BYU women’s head basketball coach Jeff Judkins. “She certainly deserves the accolades. Sara is a unique player in that she doesn’t have to score to be the best player on the court. Her defensive presence forces teams to change the way they run their offense and attack the basket. She has an uncanny way of blocking shots and not getting out of position. Her defensive play and offensive skills certainly make her one of the best centers in the country.”

Hamson, a 6-foot-7 senior from Lindon, Utah, is coming off of a junior season where she averaged 7.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game. She was the West Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year and was named to the WCC Women’s Basketball Second Team. She was also named to the WCC Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team and was a Naismith Women's Basketball Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist.

Fans are encouraged to participate in three rounds of fan voting at In early February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2021 Lisa Leslie Award will be narrowed to 10. In early March, five finalists will be presented to Leslie and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.

The winner of the 2021 Lisa Leslie Center Award will be presented on 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.

“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.”

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).

Hamson and the Cougars begin the 2020-21 season at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas, Nov. 27 and 28. Their first home game will be Dec. 10 in the Marriott Center against Montana State.

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