By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — Even after she has begun her professional career, the accolades from Imani Boyette’s college career continue to roll in. The former University of Texas women’s basketball star was nominated Tuesday for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program honors the academic achievements, excellence in athletics, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions. Eligible nominees must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have completed eligibility in her primary sport.
Nominations are submitted to conference offices, which in turn submit nominations to the NCAA, whose Woman of the Year selection committee selects the top 30 — 10 from each division and three finalists from each division. The Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose a winner from the final nine candidates.
Boyette, who earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and was a first-round selection in the recent WNBA draft by the Chicago Sky, has survived multiple suicide attempts and molestation at a young age in part because by writing poetry and playing basketball.
She won the Honda Inspiration Award and the 2014-15 Big 12 Conference Female Sportsperson of the Year award, and was a 2016 recipient of the Texas Exes President's Leadership Award. Most recently, she was honored as a 2016 recipient of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics’ Wilma Rudolph Award.
Boyette became the first player in the history of the Texas women's basketball program to reach the combined milestone of 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 200 career blocks. She finished her career ranked 22nd on UT's all-time career scoring list with 1,361 career points, fifth on UT's all-time career rebounding list with 1,036 career rebounds and second on UT's all-time career blocks list with 303.