Hardy Claims Preseason Big 12 Honor

Nebraska junior Kiera Hardy captured one of five spots on the Preseason First-Team All-Big 12 squad voted on by the league coaches and announced by the Big 12 Conference office in Dallas on Tuesday.

Hardy, a 5-6 guard from Kansas City, Mo., joins Baylor's Sophia Young, Texas' Tiffany Jackson, Texas Tech's Erin Grant and Oklahoma's Leah Rush on the five-player preseason honor squad. Hardy, Grant, Jackson and Young, who was voted the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, all earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2004-05, while Rush claimed a spot on the second-team a year ago.

Hardy is the top returning scorer in the Big 12 Conference this season after averaging 19 points per game as a sophomore in 2004-05, including a league-leading 20.9 points per contest in conference games. Hardy set Nebraska's sophomore single-season scoring record with 609 points, while also tying the school record with 85 made three-pointers on the season.

Young, who was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four after leading Baylor to the 2005 national title, ranked third in the league in scoring with 18.4 points per game while ranking second in the league in rebounding with 9.3 boards per contest as a junior in 2004-05.

Shaquina Mosley, a 5-6 junior guard at Kansas, was voted the Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, after leading Central Arizona Community College to the NJCAA championship last year. Mosley was named the 2005 WBCA Junior College/Community College Player of the Year.

Courtney Paris, a 6-4 freshman center at Oklahoma, was chosen as the Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Paris was selected as the 2005 National High School Player of the Year by USA Today and the Naismith Trophy Foundation as a senior at Piedmont High School in Calif. Paris averaged 27 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots per game as a high school senior.

Other league players who received at least one vote to the Preseason All-Big 12 first-team included: Abiola Wabara (Baylor), Lyndsey Medders (Iowa State), Crystal Kemp (Kansas), Claire Coggins (Kansas State), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), Nina Norman (Texas), Morenike Atunrase (Texas A&M), Chesley Dabbs, LaToya Davis and Alesha Robertson (Texas Tech).

Nebraska Head Coach Connie Yori and Hardy will travel to Dallas on Wednesday to participate in Big 12 Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Media Days at the Harvey Hotel. The Husker women are schedule to meet the media on Wednesday afternoon, while Barry Collier and the Husker men will visit with the media in Dallas on Thursday afternoon.

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