From Florence School District One
GREENWOOD – Lander University's Shannon McKever earned the top prize in women's college basketball today when she was named the State Farm/WBCA NCAA Division II Player of the Year.
The award is presented annually to the top players in each of the four WBCA collegiate divisions (NCAA Divisions II, III, NAIA and JC/CC) and high school.
"We are extremely proud of Shannon for earning the national player of the year award given by the WBCA," said Lander head coach Kevin Pederson. "Watching her grow from a freshman to a senior has been a great experience, and she has improved each and every year.
"I am excited for Shannon, for our program, and for Lander University. This is a tremendous accolade that she is bringing back to Greenwood. "
McKever, a 6-0, senior, center from Florence, S.C., averaged 17.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season while shooting a national best 62 percent from the field and blocking 3.2 shots per game. She led the Lady Bearcats to their best season ever (29-4) and to a second straight NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance.
Lander, which entered the season ranked No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN national poll, won a school-record 23 games to start the season and earned its first-ever No. 1 ranking on Jan. 18. The Lady Bearcats remained atop the poll for four weeks.
McKever ended her Lander career with 1,744 points, which broke Lorain Truesdale's school record of 1,474. She also broke Kristine McPherson's career blocked shots record (231) this year. While erasing her own single-season blocks record by six with 98, she ended her career with 289.
"The WBCA is pleased to present Shannon McKever with the State Farm/WBCA NCAA Division II Player of the Year award," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "She has had an outstanding season, and is very deserving of this achievement. State Farm is synonymous with excellence and so is this student-athlete's performance."
The Player of the Year award is voted on by the nine-member WBCA Player of the Year Committee, which consists of one WBCA-member coach from each of the eight WBCA Division II regions and the committee chair.
McKever, who recorded 15 double-doubles during the season, will be formally recognized during the WBCA Awards Show, which will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, April 4, in the Indiana Convention Center's Sagamore Ballroom in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Final Four in Indianapolis.
McKever is one of only four Peach Belt Conference players in history with 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. A three-time All-PBC player, she earned PBC Player of the Week honors three times this season.