Nebraska center Kate Cain is among the 20 initial candidates for the 2020 Lisa Leslie Award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), which announced the award watch list on Friday, Oct. 25.
Cain, a 6-5 junior from Middletown, N.Y., has started 61 straight games for the Huskers the past two seasons. She has averaged 8.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and a record-setting 2.9 blocked shots per game in her first two years at Nebraska. She set the school season block record with 100 as a freshman, before smashing the sophomore block record with 79 in 2018-19. She needs just 60 blocks as a junior to become Nebraska’s career blocked shot record holder.
Cain, who was also chosen to the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award watch list, earned a place on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and was a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team in 2017-18. She was also a four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week. She owns Nebraska’s only points-rebounds-blocks triple-double in history, which came with 22 points, 14 rebounds and a school-record 11 blocks in a win over Florida Atlantic on Dec. 19, 2017.
Cain is also an outstanding student. She was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2019, and is a four-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.
Named after the three-time All-American and 1994 National Player of the Year Lisa Leslie, the annual award is in its third year of recognizing the top centers in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
“As one of the most recognizable faces in the women’s game, Lisa Leslie was an accomplished athlete and fan favorite at USC and in the WNBA,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We are very thankful to have her insights and participation as we evaluate this year’s Starting Five candidates and we hope the fans will make their opinions heard as well via our new online voting component thanks to Dell Technologies.”
The Selection Committee for the Lisa Leslie Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. New to the award this season is Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Leslie and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2020 Lisa Leslie Center Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles on Friday, April 10, 2020, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award and the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.
Previous winners of the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award include Megan Gustafson, Iowa (2019) and A’ja Wilson, South Carolina (2018).
For more information on the 2020 Lisa Leslie Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #LeslieAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies goes live Oct. 25.