Student-athlete among record number of nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year Award

July 16, 2017 | Athletics, News
By Steve Easton

Former Toledo women’s basketball player Sophie Reecher has been named a nominee for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award.

Reecher is among a record 543 female college athletes who have been nominated by a NCAA member school for this year’s award.


The three-time team captain is one of only four representatives from the Mid-American Conference and the lone student-athlete from the sport of women’s basketball to make the distinguished list.

A native of Byron, Ill., Reecher recently received the MAC’s 2017 Medal of Excellence Award, given to a student-athlete who has been successful on the playing field, in the classroom, and proven her fineness through leadership and service.

On the hardwood, the four-year letterwinner helped the Rockets capture their eighth conference title in program history in 2016-17 and advance to the 2017 NCAA Championships for the first time since 2001. UT finished with a 25-9 overall ledger and a 12-6 mark in the league, equaling the fifth most wins in single-seaon history.

In the classroom, Reecher graduated with a degree in exercise science with a concentration as a physician’s assistant in the spring. She will attend graduate school at UT and seek a master of science degree in biomedical science with a physician assistant concentration beginning this fall.

A member of the UT dean’s list in five of the last six semesters, Reecher posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in fall 2016. The two-time Academic All-Team honoree also earned the team’s Roy and Gail Hummel Scholarship for 2016-17, awarded to the senior women’s basketball student-athlete with the highest GPA.

In the community, Reecher was nominated for the 2015 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and National Association of Basketball Coaches Good Works Team for community service and spent part of last summer on a medical mission trip in Peru.

Established in 1991 and in its 27th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

The school nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, with 229 from Division I, 117 from Division II and 197 from Division III. The nominees competed in 21 different women’s sports, and 122 were multi-sport athletes during their time in college.

The NCAA encourages member schools to honor their top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.

Next, conferences will select up to two conference nominees each from the pool of nominees. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, then will choose the top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.

From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and will announce the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine.

The top 30 honorees will be recognized and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony Sunday, Oct. 22, in Indianapolis.

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