The Nancy Lieberman Award

Playing hoops on the rough-and-tumble Harlem courts, Brooklyn-bred Nancy Lieberman learned to play a physical, aggressive style of basketball unlike other women of her time. As a 5'10" point guard, Lieberman was taller than many of the guards of her era, and her ability to drive to the hoop, dish out assists, and grab hard-fought rebounds served her well during her stellar career. Lieberman led Old Dominion University to back-to-back AIAW national championships in 1979 and 1980. She was twice named as the Wade Trophy winner - a basketball first. As the nation's top female athlete during those two seasons, Lieberman was the two-time winner of the Broderick Cup as well. Lieberman played professionally in the Women's Professional Basketball League, Women's American Basketball Association, United States Basketball League, Women's National Basketball Association, and with the Washington Generals. In 1984, she earned WABA MVP honors as she led her team to the WABA championship. In 1998, Lieberman was hired as general manager and head coach of the WNBA's Detroit Shock. She coached for 3 seasons. On July 30, 2015, Lieberman became the second woman in history to join the coaching staff of an NBA team, when she was hired as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings.

Past Winners
2023 Top 5 List

Player Name School
Photo of -- McKenna Hofschild Colorado State
Photo of -- Caitlin Clark Iowa
Photo of -- Olivia Miles Notre Dame
Photo of -- Lauren Park-Lane Seton Hall
Photo of -- Nika Mühl UConn

Lieberman's Career Highlights

  • Old Dominion University (1976 – 1980)
College Playing Highlights
  • Two-time Wade Trophy Award Winner (1979, 1980)
  • Two-time Honda Sports Award for Basketball (1979, 1980)
  • Kodak All-American (1978, 1979, 1980)
  • ODU Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)
  • Broderick Cup Award Winner (1979, 1980)
  • Holds the school records for career assists (961) and steals (562)
  • WNIT Championship (1978)
  • AIAW Championship (1979, 1980) Inducted into the ODU Hall of Fame in 1985
  • Dallas Diamonds (1980 – 1981, 1984)
  • Springfield Fame (1986)
  • Long Island Knights (1987)
  • Phoenix Mercury (1997)
  • Detroit Shock (2008)
Pro Playing Highlights
  • #1 overall player drafted by the Dallas Diamonds in the WBL’s second season of play (1981)
  • WABA Championship with the Dallas Diamonds (1984)
  • WABA League MVP (1984)
  • Became the first women ever to play in a men’s professional league when she joined the USBL’s Springfield Fame (1986)
  • Won a silver medal with USA Basketball in the 1976 Summer Olympics

Past Winners

Year Player Name School
2022Caitlin ClarkUniversity of Iowa
2021Paige BueckersUniversity Of Connecticut
2020Sabrina IonescuUniversity Of Oregon
2019Sabrina IonescuUniversity Of Oregon
2018Sabrina IonescuUniversity Of Oregon
2017Kelsey PlumUniversity Of Washington
2016Moriah JeffersonUniversity Of Connecticut
2015Moriah JeffersonUniversity Of Connecticut
2014Odyssey SimsBaylor University
2013Skylar DigginsNotre Dame University
2012Skylar DigginsNotre Dame University
2011Courtney VanderslootGonzaga University
2010Andrea RileyOklahoma State University
2009Renee MontgomeryUniversity Of Connecticut
2008Kristi ToliverUniversity Of Maryland
2007Lindsey HardingDuke University
2006Ivory LattaUniversity Of North Carolina
2005Temeka JohnsonLouisiana State University
2004Diana TaurasiUniversity Of Connecticut
2003Diana TaurasiUniversity Of Connecticut
2002Sue BirdUniversity Of Connecticut
2001Sue BirdUniversity Of Connecticut
2000Sue BirdUniversity Of Connecticut