Lehning adds Thursday's distinction to three other national honors: 2009 Wade Trophy candidate, 2009 Wooden Award finalist and 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalist. Earlier this week, she was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America third team. The product of Sublette, Kan., will also be honored by the Kansas State Department of Athletics by having her jersey retired in a postgame ceremony on Sunday.
This season, Lehning ranks second in the nation and leads the Big 12 in assists per game at 7.7, is first in the Big 12 in assist/turnover ratio at 2.2, 10th in the league and first on the team in rebounds at 7.3 and 25th in the Big 12 and third on the team in scoring at 10.8. Her assist total of 178 this season set the school record for assists by a senior and ranks fourth in school history for a season behind her own previous three efforts.
The 2008 All-Big 12 first team selection currently owns the school record and ranks third in Big 12 history for career assists with 749, ranks fourth in school history in career rebounds with 872, ranks fifth in career starts with 116, ranks 10th in career games played with 123, is sixth in career steals with 225 and ranks 25th in career points with 1,117. Lehning is the only player in Big 12 history to record 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 700 assists for her career.
For the sixth consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year's winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25 percent of the final results — more than any other national college basketball award. This year, beginning March 22, AT&T wireless customers — and sports fans on other wireless networks — will be able to text their votes for the player of their choice.
"The Naismith Trophy is unique among college awards in that it gives the fans a real voice in selecting the top player in the country," said Tim McGhee, executive director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. "AT&T is proud to sponsor the Naismith and to empower fans to make sure their voices are heard"
Fans will be eligible to cast their vote for the winner until 9 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 4. AT&T is making the voting open to other wireless carriers, allowing even more fans to participate. Other wireless carriers must opt-in for their subscribers to participate.
Notable Naismith Trophy past winners include Cheryl Miller (USC), Dawn Staley (Virginia) and last year's winner, Candace Parker (Tennessee). The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year. For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983.
The Naismith Award has become an emblem of excellence for the game, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.
ABOUT AT&T Inc.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation's fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation's leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine's lists of the World's Most Admired Companies and America's Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com.
2009 Naismith Trophy Midseason Candidates
Jayne Appel, Stanford; Chante Black, Duke; DeWanna Bonner, Auburn; Jessica Breland, North Carolina; Tina Charles, Connecticut; Alysha Clark, Middle Tennessee State; Shayla Fields, North Carolina State; Rachele Fitz, Marist; Tyra Grant, Penn State; Laura Kurz, Villanova; Jantel Lavender, Ohio State;
Shalee Lehning, Kansas State; Lyndra Littles, Virginia; Angel McCoughtry, Louisville; Danielle McCray, Kansas; Aisha Mohammad, Virginia; Renee Montgomery, Connecticut; Maya Moore, Connecticut; Ashley Paris, Oklahoma; Courtney Paris, Oklahoma; Ta"Shia Phillips, Xavier; Epiphany Prince, Rutgers; Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State; Kristi Toliver, Maryland; Ashley Walker, California; Morgan Warburton, Utah; Danielle Wilson, Baylor; Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton, Purdue; Monica Wright, Virginia; Shavonte Zellous, Pittsburgh