Oct. 16, 2001
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame junior guard Alicia Ratay (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich HS) has been selected as a preseason candidate for the 2001-02 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award, according to an announcement Tuesday morning by Jackie Bradford, president of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. It marks the second time in as many seasons that Ratay has been named to the 30-player preseason Naismith watch list.
Ratay (pronounced ruh-TIE) averaged 12.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season, and set an NCAA record for three-point percentage (54.7 percent) on the way to third-team all-BIG EAST Conference honors – she was the only sophomore to make any of the three all-league squads. Ratay is also a former BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and was named an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press in 2000. She will be looking to follow in the footsteps of her former teammate, Ruth Riley, who won the 2000-01 Naismith Award, becoming the first Notre Dame women’s basketball player to be so recognized.
The Naismith Awards, in their 34th year, are given in honor of the inventor of the game of basketball – Dr. James Naismith. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. The Awards, including Men’s and Women’s College Player of the Year, Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year, Male and Female Prep Player of the Year and Men’s and Women’s Official of the Year, are determined by a vote of the Naismith Board of Selectors. In addition, the Board of Selectors, comprised of a select group of leading basketball conches, journalists and administrators, honors a Men’s and Women’s Outstanding Contributor to Basketball. The 2001-02 Naismith Award will presented April 5, 2002 in Atlanta.
Last season, under the guidance of Naismith Coach of the Year Muffet McGraw, the Irish posted a 34-2 record en route to their first-ever national championship. Seven monogram winners return from that squad and will team up with the third-best recruiting class in the country to form the backbone of the 2001-02 unit. Notre Dame begins defense of its NCAA title Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. (EST) when it plays host to Valparaiso at the Joyce Center.
– ND –