Woodard Named Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Basketball

ATLANTA – Kansas women’s basketball legend Lynette Woodard has been selected as the 2015 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball Award delivered by UPS, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Woodard, a four-time Kodak All-American for Kansas, is the all-time leading scorer for Division I women’s collegiate basketball with 3,649 points and currently holds nine KU women’s basketball records, along with being the all-time leading scorer in Kansas basketball history. In 1983, Woodard was selected as USA Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year.
“I am very honored and excited to receive this prestigious award,” Woodard told the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Thank you to the Atlanta Tipoff Club for recognizing me as the 2015 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball Award. I am very proud to be included with such an elite group. I have been blessed in so many ways by the game I love. I will cherish this award and always be grateful for this recognition!”
A two-time Olympian (1980 and 1984), Woodard served as a captain of the USA’s first gold-medal winning Olympic team in 1984. She became the first female to play for the Harlem Globetrotters (1985-87). Woodard played professionally in Italy, Japan and two seasons in the WNBA for the Cleveland Rockers (1997) and Detroit Shock (1998). In 2004, Woodard was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame and in 2005 was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Along with Woodard, Bill Raftery, who recently called his first NCAA Men’s Final Four as part of the CBS/Turner Sports broadcast team, was named the 2015 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Men’s Basketball.
“These are two legendary figures in basketball who have been tremendous ambassadors of the sport for decades,” Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director Eric Oberman said in a press releae. “Their contributions are vast and prestigious and are still held in high esteem today. We are proud to recognize both Lynette and Bill as Naismith Award winners.”
First presented in 1982 to Curt Gowdy, the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Basketball Award is presented annually to individuals whose extraordinary efforts have made contributions of outstanding significance and have created a long-lasting positive impact on the game of basketball. The recipients display character, integrity and dignity, and have contributed mightily to the growth, success and viability of basketball. Voted on by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Directors, Woodard and Raftery will be honored this fall.
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