🏀 Women’s Basketball Hosts 2021-22 Season Celebration
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Big 12 Coach of the Year Brandon Schneider and the Kansas Women’s Basketball program hosted a season celebration on Wednesday evening in the Kansas Union Ballroom.
Players, coaches, staff, families and supporters filled the ballroom to honor the 2021-22 Jayhawk team, which experienced a breakthrough season in Schneider’s seventh season. The Jayhawks finished with an overall record of 21-10 and improved the team’s win total by 14 games this season, which marks the largest single-season win improvement in Kansas Women’s Basketball history. The Jayhawks were selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament for the 14th time in program history and defeated Georgia Tech, 77-58, in the opening round before being eliminated by eventual regional champion Stanford.
The emcee for the evening was Jimmy Chavez, the radio voice of Kansas Women’s Basketball. Following an invocation Jayhawk women’s basketball alum Niccolly Ramalho, the participants ate dinner while watching highlight videos from the season. After dinner, Director of Athletics Travis Goff addressed the crowd and Chavez introduced the members of the team. Schneider then took the stage for remarks about the season followed by handing out the team’s individual awards.
"I love our players. Not for the points they score, the rebounds they get, the shots they block, or the passes they make. I love them for their character, their integrity and their commitment to defending the values and the pillars that we hold dear in our program. I get to witness it all the time and I love these players for their hearts and their desire to impact and serve others."2022 Big 12 Coach of the Year Brandon Schneider
Schneider and the Kansas coaching staff announced three team awards. Claiming the Hard Hat Award for deflections and rebounds was junior center Taiyanna Jackson, while Aniya Thomas claimed the award for charges taken.
Jackson was an Honorable Mention All-Big 12 and Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection following her first year at KU. She led the Big 12 and ranked fourth in the nation with 95 blocked shots, which broke a Kansas single-season record that had stood since 1993. Jackson led the Jayhawks with 250 rebounds, an average of 8.1 per game, and 309 deflections to earn two Hard Hat Awards. She also averaged 8.9 points per game during her first year in Lawrence.
Thomas capped off her four-year career at Kansas this season by averaging 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game as a senior. She also led the Jayhawks with nine charges drawn to earn the Hard Hat Award. Thomas appeared in 114 games as a Jayhawk, averaging 8.6 points per game while making 113 three-pointers, which ranks just outside the top 10 in program history.
Following a highlight film documenting the Jayhawks’ season, sophomore guard Chandler Prater took to the stage to close the night by presenting head coach Brandon Schneider with a basketball from the team to commemorate his Big 12 Coach of the Year honor. In March, Schneider became the first Kansas women’s basketball coach to be named the Big 12 Coach of the Year since legendary Jayhawk leader Marian Washington won the award in 1997, the first year of the conference.