Baylor Lady Bear Nalyssa Smith Placed on McClain Award Watch


Baylor Athletics Press Release:

WACO, Texas – Baylor junior NaLyssa Smith was named to the Preseason Watch List for the Naismith Hall of Fame and WBCA’s Katrina McClain Award, Thursday. The honor, in its fourth year, awards the top power forward in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.

The award’s namesake was a three-time Olympian for USA Basketball and a two-time WBCA National Player of the Year at Georgia. Since its inception, Baylor has had a player reach the Final Five of the McClain award each season with Lauren Cox being a finalist on all three. Smith will have the opportunity to make it 4-for-4 for Baylor.

Smith has already been named the Big 12’s Preseason Player of the Year after averaging 14.3 points and 8.0 rebounds in her sophomore season in 2019-20. She was an honorable mention All-America selection by the Associated Press and the WBCA last year. An All-Big 12 First-Team selection last season, Smith had a Big 12-leading 58.6 field-goal percentage, which also ranked 12th in the nation.

2021 Katrina McClain Award Candidates*

Jasmine WalkerAlabama
Cate ReeseArizona
Unique ThompsonAuburn
NaLyssa SmithBaylor
Maddi UttiFresno State
Natalie KucowskiLafayette
Naz HillmonMichigan
Jessika CarterMississippi State
Sam BrunelleNotre Dame
Natasha MackOklahoma State
Taylor JonesOregon State
Brooklyn McDavidPacific
Bethy MunungaSouth Florida
Cameron BrinkStanford
Mia DavisTemple
N’dea JonesTexas A&M
Alissa PiliUSC
Chelsey PerryUT Martin
Maddy SiegristVillanova
Raneem ElgedawyWestern Kentucky

*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2020-21 season

About Katrina McClain-Pittman:

Katrina McClain-Pittman was a prolific rebounder and terrific scorer in a career that spanned three Olympic Games and three continents. Before she earned her stripes for USA Basketball, McClain-Pittman starred at the University of Georgia where she was a two-time Kodak All-American and the WBCA National Player of the Year her senior season. She left Georgia as the school’s second all-time leading scorer and rebounder, averaging a double-double her final two seasons in Athens. The Lady Bulldogs reached the 1985 NCAA Final Four and national championship game with McClain-Pittman controlling the paint and Teresa Edwards running the offense. The two-time USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year finished her international career with two Olympic gold medals and one bronze, three FIBA World Championships medals, and five medals at the Goodwill Games, Pan Am Games, and World University Games. In all, McClain-Pittman appeared on eleven USA Basketball rosters becoming one of the most decorated athletes in USA Basketball history. She has been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, the Georgia State Hall of Fame, and the National High School Hall of Fame, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

About the WBCA:

Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to those organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. For more information, visit us online:, follow @wbca1981 or call 1-770-279-8027.

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:

Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo “Court of Dreams.” Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit, follow @hoophall or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.

Basketball Hall of Fame Media Contact

Nicole Taylor,Position Sports //

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 29 2021 07:00 pm

Trending now

Upcoming Events

Stay Connected