March 9, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame freshman forward Jacqueline Batteast (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) added another award to her growing resume on Saturday when she was selected as one of 48 finalists for the 2002 Division I Kodak Women’s All-America Basketball Team. As a finalist, Batteast automatically earns honorable mention All-America status and could be one of the 12 players selected to the Kodak All-America Team when it is announced March 28 in San Antonio, Texas.
Batteast is the fifth Notre Dame player, and the first Irish freshman to garner honorable mention All-America laurels. Karen Robinson (1991), Beth Morgan (1996 & 1997), Katryna Gaither (1996 & 1997) and Ruth Riley (1999, 2000 & 2001) are the other Notre Dame cagers who received honorable mention accolades, with Riley the only Irish player to earn All-America status. In addition, Batteast is the second BIG EAST Conference rookie to be tabbed as an honorable mention All-America pick, joining Connecticut forward Rebecca Lobo (1992) in that elite sorority.
Batteast is the only freshman among the 48 finalists and is one of five BIG EAST players in the group, joining UConn’s Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Diana Taurasi, as well as Boston College guard Brianne Stepherson. Members of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in each of the eight WBCA geographical districts voted for the team, with the top six vote-getters in each district advancing to the national ballot. Susan Moran of St. Joseph’s (Pa.) joined the afore-mentioned quintet on the Kodak District I All-America squad.
Saturday’s award is the latest in a series of honors for Batteast, who recently was a unanimous choice as the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. She also earned second-team all-BIG EAST laurels and was a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team. In addition, she was a six-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week and was a preseason first-team freshman All-America pick by the Women’s Basketball News Service.
Batteast has started 22 of 24 games for the Irish this season, averaging 14.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, ranking her in the top 10 in the BIG EAST in all three categories. She also stands second in the conference with 11 double-doubles, has scored in double figures in 19 games and has six 20-point outings to her credit.
Batteast and her Notre Dame teammates will learn their postseason fate Sunday at 5 p.m. (EST) when the 64-team field for the 2002 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship is announced live on ESPN. The Irish (19-9) are seeking the ninth NCAA Tournament berth in school history, and the seventh in as many seasons. Last year, Notre Dame defeated Purdue, 68-66, in the NCAA championship game to win its first national title.
– ND –