In Saturday’s game against Longwood, Winthrop University senior guard Dequesha McClanahan surpassed 2,000 career points in a 70-49 Big South Conference victory over the Lancers at Winthrop Coliseum. That added to a total that already had made her the highest scoring Eagle – man or woman – in the history of Winthrop basketball.
Accomplishments like that have not gone unnoticed.
McClanahan is a former Big South Conference Player of the Year and was voted the 2014 Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches and media panel. Recently she also was named one of only 29 players in the nation to the watch list of candidates for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
A selection committee consisting of top college basketball personnel, including media, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Fame members, has been appointed to review the candidates. The list will be narrowed to a final 20 next month, and then to the final five by March.
The winner will be announced during Final Four weekend of the NCAA championship.
McClanahan has been averaging 17.5 points per game. She also leads the league with 7.8 assists per game, and her assist total puts her among the top-five leaders in the nation.
Making the Lieberman watch list is, in itself, a significant honor. To qualify, players not only must have outstanding play-making and ball-handling skills but also must be team leaders and motivators.
Ivory Latta, the standout for York Comprehensive High School and the University of North Carolina, and now a professional in the WNBA, was one of the previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award. As officials with the Basketball Hall of Fame note, this award not only recognizes some of the best players in a given year, it also includes some of the truly extraordinary point guards in the entire history of women’s college basketball.
McClanahan said after Saturday’s game that she hadn’t been thinking a lot about topping the 2,000-point threshold.
“I just try to play every game like it’s my first one – or my last one,” she said.
The method seems to be working. Whatever happens next, McClanahan is destined to be on the list of best point guards and outstanding women college athletes of all time. Congratulations to her on reaching another milestone and earning the well deserved recognition of her peers and others who love basketball.
She has been an invaluable asset to the Eagles during her college career, and it is likely she will succeed at whatever challenge she chooses next.