March 4, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - University of Connecticut senior standout Renee Montgomery (St. Albans, W. Va.), is the 2009 recipient of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation's outstanding female collegian 5-feet-8-inches and under and has excelled both athletically and academically.
Montgomery, a native of St. Albans, W. Va., became the first-ever "active" player to be inducted into the "Huskies of Honor" and 11th player overall on Feb. 15. She has staked her claim as one of the best guards in the nation and has continued to flourish in her fourth consecutive season as a starter, and third as team captain in the Connecticut backcourt.
She is one of only three players in Connecticut history to tally 1,500 points and 500 assists in a career and is the only player in program history to rank in the top-10 in points (1,845), assists (590), steals (251) and three-pointers (233).
During her storied career at Connecticut, Montgomery has been integral in leading the team to a 130-11 ledger that includes a trip to the NCAA Women'
s Final Four, three NCAA Regionals, three BIG EAST regular season titles and two BIG EAST Tournament crowns. Montgomery has registered 139 career starts, 132 of which have been consecutive - the most by any player nationally.
This season, Montgomery has led the No. 1 Huskies in assists on 19 occasions and 11 times in scoring and steals. Connecticut has not relinquished the top spot on the national rankings all season and is currently the only undefeated team in the country at 30-0, 16-0 BIG EAST. Montgomery ranks second in the BIG EAST in assists, eighth in three-pointers made and eighth in scoring.
Off the court, Montgomery is very involved with the Connecticut Children'
s Hospital where she is a frequent visitor. She has also served with the Salvation Army and aided with their "Holiday Store," which collects gifts and donations for less fortunate families. Montgomery was also one of the team'
s leaders in their efforts to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
is not only one of the game'
s finest smaller players, she is one of the great floor generals in the college game today," stated John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. ".Her commitment on and off the court to making her team and herself better is evident in how she leads Connecticut into battle every night and how dedicated she is in the classroom every day. She personifies the true meaning of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award."
The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award is named in honor of James Naismith's daughter-in-law. A panel of representatives from the Women'
s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) selects the recipient. To earn the award, the recipient must demonstrate leadership, character, loyalty, all-around basketball ability and excellence in the classroom.
Montgomery will be formally recognized at the WBCA Awards Luncheon presented by State Farm and Jostens at Noon (CT) on Tuesday, April 7, at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront Grand Ballroom. This event is part of the WBCA National Convention and is held in conjunction with the NCAA Women'
s Final Four in St. Louis, Mo.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame pays tribute to the game's inventor, Dr. James Naismith. Located in Springfield, Mass., "the Birthplace of Basketball," the world's only Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves men'
s and women'
s basketball at every level - professional, collegiate, scholastic, Olympic, international and wheelchair.
Previous Winners of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award
1984 Kim Mulkey, Louisiana Tech
1985 Maria Stack, Gonzaga
1986 Kamie Ethridge, Texas
1987 Rhonda Windham, Southern California
1988 Suzie McConnell, Penn State
1989 Paulette Backstrom, Bowling Green
1990 Julie Dabrowski, New Hampshire College
1991 Shanya Evans, Providence College
1992 Rosemary Kisorek, West Virginia
1993 Dena Evans, Virginia
1994 Nicole Levesque, Wake Forest
1995 Amy Dodrill, Johns Hopkins
1996 Jennifer Rizzotti, Connecticut
1997 Jennifer Howard, North Carolina State
1998 Angie Arnold, Johns Hopkins
1999 Becky Hammon, Colorado State
2000 Helen Darling, Penn State
2001 Niele Ivey, Notre Dame
2002 Sheila Lambert, Baylor
2003 Kara Lawson, Tennessee
2004 Erika Valek, Purdue
2005 Tan White, Mississippi State
2006 Megan Duffy, Notre Dame
2007 Lindsey Harding, Duke
2008 Jolene Anderson, Wisconsin
2009 Renee Montgomery, Connecticut
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the WBCA promotes women'
s basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.