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The History of Naismith Awards

Each year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors chooses the 50 pre-season “Naismith Watch” list as well as the mid-season team of 30 candidates. The Naismith voting academy narrows that group down to four finalists who will make up the final ballot. The voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, base its criteria on player performance throughout the season.
The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is awarded annually to the men’s and women’s college basketball players of the year.
Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, creator of the game of basketball, the first trophy was awarded to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1969.
The Women’s Player of the Year Award was first given to Anne Donovan of Old Dominion University in 1983.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club established the Outstanding Contribution Award in 1982 to honor those men and women who have had a positive impact on the game of basketball.
Established in 1987, the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year Award and the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award were originally given to the coaches of the men’s and women’s NCAA Division I Tournament champions. In 1989, the governing board changed the selection criteria to the voting process used today.
Each year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors first votes to compile a top 25 list of coaches for each award. Then, through additional votes, the list is narrowed down to four and finally, the national winner.

In 1987, to honor the nation’s best boy’s and girl’s high school basketball players, the Naismith Trophy Boy’s High School Player of the Year and the Naismith Trophy Girl’s High School Player of the Year were established.

Each honor is selected annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club Board of Selectors. The  board votes to compile a top 10 list of players from across the country for  both awards. The winners are then selected by a board vote.            

In 2008, the Naismith High School Boy’s Coach of the Year and Girl’s Coach of the Year categories were created.

The national Naismith Awards recognize the top national, regional and local players, coaches, officials and administrators who have displayed excellence and outstanding achievement in basketball.  Winners are honored for the following awards:

  • Men’s and Women’s College Player of the Year
  • Men’s and Women’s College Coach of the Year
  • Men’s and Women’s College Official of the Year(Lifetime Achievement)
  • Men’s and Women’s Outstanding Contributor to Basketball (Lifetime Achievement)
  • National Boy’s and Girl’s High School Player of the Year
  • National Boy’s and Girl’s High School Coach of the Year

Fan Voting

Through the power and ease of text messaging, the fans’ vote will account for 25 percent of the selection process on the Naismith Men’s and Women’s College Player of the Year. This program sets the standard in college athletics for integrating fans into the voting process and providing them with more input than with any other major collegiate sports award.

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2011 Jimmer Fredette • BYU
2010 Evan Turner • Ohio State
2009 Blake Griffin • Oklahoma
2008 Tyler Hansbrough • North Carolina
2007 Kevin Durant • Texas
2006 J.J. Redick • Duke
2005 Andrew Bogut • Utah
2004 Jameer Nelson • Saint Joseph’s
2003 T.J. Ford • Texas
2002 Jason Williams • Duke
2001 Shane Battier • Duke
2000 Kenyon Martin • Cincinnati
1999 Elton Brand • Duke
1998 Antawn Jamison • North Carolina
1997 Tim Duncan • Wake Forest
1996 Marcus Camby • UMass
1995 Joe Smith • Maryland
1994 Glenn Robinson • Purdue
1993 Calbert Cheaney • Indiana
1992 Christian Laettner • Duke
1991 Larry Johnson • UNLV
1990 Lionel Simmons • LaSalle
1989 Danny Ferry • Duke
1988 Danny Manning • Kansas
1987 David Robinson • Navy
1986 Johnny Dawkins • Duke
1985 Patrick Ewing • Georgetown
1984 Michael Jordan • North Carolina
1983 Ralph Sampson • Virginia
1982 Ralph Sampson • Virginia
1981 Ralph Sampson • Virginia
1980 Mark Aguirre • DePaul
1979 Larry Bird • Indiana State
1978 Butch Lee • Marquette
1977 Marques Johnson • UCLA
1976 Scott May • Indiana
1975 David Thompson • N.C. State
1974 Bill Walton • UCLA
1973 Bill Walton • UCLA
1972 Bill Walton • UCLA
1971 Austin Carr • Notre Dame
1970 Pete Maravich • LSU
1969 Lew Alcindor • UCLA

2011 Maya Moore • Connecticut
2010 Tina Charles • Connecticut
2009 Maya Moore • Connecticut
2008 Candace Parker • Tennessee
2007 Lindsey Harding • Duke
2006 Seimone Augustus • LSU
2005 Seimone Augustus • LSU
2004 Diana Taurasi • Connecticut
2003 Diana Taurasi • Connecticut
2002 Sue Bird • Connecticut
2001 Ruth Riley • Notre Dame
2000 Tamika Catchings • Tennessee
1999 Chamique Holdsclaw • Tennessee
1998 Chamique Holdsclaw • Tennessee
1997 Kate Starbird • Stanford
1996 Saudia Roundtree • Georgia
1995 Rebecca Lobo • Connecticut
1994 Lisa Leslie • USC
1993 Sheryl Swoopes • Texas Tech
1992 Dawn Staley • Virginia
1991 Dawn Staley • Virginia
1990 Jennifer Azzi • Stanford
1989 Clarissa Davis • Texas
1988 Sue Wicks • Rutgers
1987 Clarissa Davis • Texas
1986 Cheryl Miller • USC
1985 Cheryl Miller • USC
1984 Cheryl Miller • USC
1983 Anne Donovan • Old Dominion

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