Anderson, Beckum are UW Athletes of the Year

Former Wisconsin women's basketball star Jolene Anderson and current Wisconsin football senior Travis Beckum are named the school's female and male athletes of the year.

The Big Ten Conference announced its athletes of the year Friday afternoon. Each of the 11 conference institutions nominates a male and female athlete and this year, Travis Beckum and Jolene Anderson were the two Wisconsin athletes of the year.

Beckum was the top receiver on the Wisconsin football team in 2007. He finished the year with 75 catches for 982 yards and six touchdowns. Beckum enters his senior season with 136 career receptions, which is third on UW's career list. In 2007, he was a finalist for the John Mackey Award, which is awarded to the nation's top tight end, a consensus first-team All-Big Ten and also named second-team All-American by The Sporting News. His 982 receiving yards was also the most of any tight end in the country. Beckum will be one of the top returnees on the Wisconsin football team this fall and was already picked by various publications as a preseason All-American.

Anderson was the most decorated female basketball player in school history. She became UW's first Big Ten Basketball Player of the Year in 2008 as voted by the media after earning her second-straight Big Ten scoring title totaling 353 points for a 19.6 points per game average in conference only games. She was also named the 2008 Frances Pomeroy Naismith National Player of the Year for 5-8 and under and a 2008 WBCA/State Farm Regional All-American.

She had a career-high 42 points vs. Iowa on Jan. 13, 2008, to surpass the UW women's career scoring record of 1,994. With 2,212 career points she has also surpassed the men's scoring record of 2,217 to become Wisconsin's all-time leading scorer for men and women. She was UW's first and the Big Ten's 12th 2,000-point scorer and she finished her career ranked fourth in Big Ten career scoring.

Anderson became the first Badger women's basketball player in six years to be drafted when she was picked 23rd overall in the second round by the Connecticut Sun. She is currently a starter for the Sun in her rookie season averaging 6.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21 minutes per game.

Also announced today were the athletes of the year for the conference. Iowa wrestler Brent Metcalf was awarded the Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year award and Northwestern lacrosse standout Hannah Nielsen was named the Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year. These two, along with many other Big Ten athletes, great games and plays from the 2007-08 season, will be recognized tonight during the Big Ten Awards Show. The program airs at 9 p.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network.

A complete list of this year's nominees can be found below.


Illinois - J. Leman (football) Angela Bizzarri (cross country/track)

Indiana - Ben Hesen (swimming) Haley Exner (field hockey)

Iowa - Brent Metcalf (wrestling) Diane Nukuri (cross country/track)

Michigan - Kevin Porter (ice hockey) Tiffany Ofili (track)

Michigan State - Jeff Lerg (ice hockey) Sara Brown (golf)

Minnesota - Jayson Ness (wrestling) Heather Dorniden (track)

Northwestern - Dustin Fox (wrestling) Hannah Nielsen (lacrosse)

Ohio State - Andras Horanyi (fencing) Teresa Meyer (pistol)

Penn State - Casey Sandy (gymnastics) Shana Cox (track)

Purdue - Dustin Keller (football) Maria Hernandez (golf)

Wisconsin - Travis Beckum (football) Jolene Anderson (basketball)

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