April 16, 2009
STORRS, Conn. - Renee Montgomery, a senior at the University of Connecticut, has been chosen as the nation's top collegiate female athlete in basketball. The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 33rd year.
Montgomery's victory will earn her the 2009 Honda Sports Award, given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic nomination for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. UConn players have won the Honda Sports Award for basketball six times in the past. They include: Rebecca Lobo (1995), Jennifer Rizzotti (1996), Shea Ralph (2000), Sue Bird (2002) and Diana Taurasi (2003, '04). Both Lobo and Rizzotti went on to win the Honda-Broderick Cup as Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
Montgomery, who is known to be a strong team player, said: "I'm appreciative of the Honda Award because they only choose one player, so it's exciting. With everything that's happened in the past week I thought things couldn't get better and then to learn I've won the Honda Sports Award is like a bonus and a blessing.''
Montgomery, a four-year starter as point guard for the Huskies, was the #4 draft WNBA pick this year, chosen by the Minnesota Lynx. A native of St. Albans, West Virginia, she captained her team to an undefeated season this year, culminating with the NCAA championship in which she scored 18 points in the final game. She received both the Big East Sportsmanship Award and the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award and was a WBCA, USBWA, and AP First Team All-American. Montgomery is one of only three players ever at UConn to boast 1500 career points and 500 assists, and she is the only player in school history to rank in the top-10 in points, assists, steals and 3-pointers. She started 139 consecutive games in her college career - the longest streak in the nation - and also played in 150 games, a program best. She is also the first-ever active player inducted into the University of Connecticut's Huskies of Honor. Montgomery is a communications major with a 3.1 GPA.
Previously announced Honda Sports Award recipients are Texas Tech's Sally Kipyego for cross-country, Susie Rowe from the University of Maryland for Field Hockey, Casey Nogueira from the University of North Carolina for soccer, Nicole Fawcett from Penn State University for volleyball and Dana Vollmer from UC Berkeley for swimming & diving. Honda Sports Award winners in golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, tennis and track & field will be announced in the coming months. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions and the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup at a ceremony in New York in June 2009.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. See http://awards.honda.com/ for more information.