Woodard Headed Home to Allen Fieldhouse Dec. 5-6
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In May, Kansas women’s basketball legend Lynette Woodard was selected as the 2015 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball Award delivered by UPS and the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Woodard will return to Allen Fieldhouse Dec. 5-6 to be recognized for her achievements by the Atlanta Tipoff Club and Kansas Athletics.
A four-time Kodak All-American, Woodard will be honored during first timeout of the Kansas men’s basketball game against Harvard on Saturday, Dec. 5. She will also be recognized during the first quarter break of the women’s basketball game against St. John’s on Sunday, Dec. 6.
“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!”
The all-time leading scorer for Division I women’s collegiate basketball with 3,649 points, Woodard currently holds nine KU women’s basketball records, along with being the all-time leading scorer in Kansas basketball history, both men’s and women’s. In 1983, Woodard was selected as USA Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year.
“We are so excited that Lynette will receive this honor on the court where she did so many wonderful things,” said KU Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger. “Lynette is not only the greatest player in KU women’s basketball history, she is also one of the greatest players in the history of the women’s game. This is a great opportunity for KU fans to welcome her back to James Naismith Court.”
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 Women’s National Basketball Association for the Cleveland Rockers (1997) and Detroit Shock (1998). In 2004, Woodard was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame and in 2005 into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
“Since I was hired in April, it’s been a big goal of mine to try to tie our current players to alumni,” said head coach Brandon Schneider. “There’s no greater alum of Kansas women’s basketball than Lynette Woodard. We are so fortunate that the athletic department is honoring her and that she can be around to interact with our current players.”
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 release. “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.
In addition to honoring Woodard this weekend. Kansas fans are encouraged to participate in the Jayhawks’ annual Toys for Tots games against Harvard and St. John’s. Donate a new, unwrapped toy to those in need at either men’s or women’s basketball games this weekend. Fans will receive FREE admission at the women’s basketball game with their donation.
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