Former UTC Basketball Player Alicia Payne Nominated For 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year
INDIANAPOLIS – Former Southern Conference basketball players Lucy Mason of UNCG and Alicia Payne of Chattanooga are among the record 517 student-athletes nominated for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
This pool of school honorees marks the largest in the 26-year history of the award. Of the nominees for the national award, 231 competed in Division I, 117 competed in Division II and 169 competed in Division III athletics. The nominees also represent 21 different women’s sports, and 127 of the nominees competed in more than one sport 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 assess their member school nominees and select up to two conference nominees. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then 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 announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.
Payne, a two-time SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and the 2016 tournament Most Outstanding Player, helped the Mocs to their fourth SoCon tournament title and NCAA appearance in as many years. The two-year starting point guard finished her career with a 3.88 GPA in social work and intends to pursue a master’s degree in that field while serving as a graduate assistant coach for the Mocs.
A four-year member of the Dean’s List, Payne has earned Academic All-SoCon distinction and earned the SoCon’s Commissioner’s Medal multiple times. Payne has logged hundreds of hours of community service throughout her collegiate career, amassing more than 300 organizing Fellowship of Christian Athletes camps and 400 during an unpaid internship with the Chattanooga Department of Youth & Family Development, where she was able to work with families with financial needs.
Payne, the recipient of the SoCon’s inaugural EnVeritas Group Graduate Scholarship, hopes to eventually work for an agency that advocates for social and economic justice for low-income populations.