March 13, 2001
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Niele Ivey, a third-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-BIG EAST selection from second-ranked Notre Dame, has been named recipient of the 18th annual Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s outstanding female collegian 5-feet-8 and under who has excelled athletically and academically.
Ivey will receive her award on Friday, March 30th at the WBCA Player of the Year luncheon at the women’s Final Four in St. Louis. The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, named in honor of James Naismith’s daughter-in-law, was selected by a panel of representatives from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. To earn the award, the recipient must demonstrate leadership, character, loyalty, all-around basketball ability and excellence in the classroom.
Ivey, a native of St. Louis, Mo., is a finalist for the Conseco Nancy Lieberman-Cline Step Up Award presented to the best point guard in NCAA Division I. She is also one of three finalists for ESPN The Magazine’s point guard of the year award. The catalyst behind Notre Dame’s record-setting 28-1 regular season record in 2000-2001, Ivey was named fourth-team All-America and first-team All-Defensive by Women’s Basketball Journal.
Ivey, a fifth-year senior, has battled back from two ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries — one five games into her freshman season, second in the 1999 BIG EAST Tournament — to become one of only two players in school history to reach the 200-assist mark in a single season. Ivey currently ranks second on the Irish all-time list and her 209 assists (7.0 apg) this season was 11th best in the nation.
During the 2000-2001 season, Ivey became the 17th player in school history to score 1,000 points (against Valparaiso) and with 1,362 career points ranks ninth on the all-time list. This season, Ivey averaged 12.2 ppg, third best on the team. Her season-high 22 points against Wisconsin earned her MVP honors of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
One of the most versatile offensive-defensive players on the Irish team, Ivey’s 309 career assists ranks best in school history.
In a record-setting career, Ivey has been named first-team All-Big East as a senior, second-team as a junior and third-team as a sophomore. She has been named Big East Player of the Week four times during her career.
A graduate of Cor Jesu High School in St. Louis, Ivey was the USA Today Missouri Player of the Year as a senior. The four-year starter at point guard finished her career with school records for point (1,977), rebounds (813), assists (600), steals (603) and blocked shots (95). As a junior she led Cor Jesu to a perfect 31-0 record and the Missouri Class 4A state championship.
Previous winners of the female Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award:
1984 Kim Mulkey, Louisiana Tech
1985 Maria Stack, Gonzaga (Washington)
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, University of Conn.
1997 Jennifer Howard, North Carolina State
1998 Angie Arnold, Johns Hopkins
1999 Becky Hammon, Colorado State
2000 Helen Darling, Penn State
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame pays tribute to the game’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith. Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball, the world’s only Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves basketball at every level — professional, collegiate, scholastic, international, men and women. Featuring countless exhibits, memorabilia and interactive areas, the Basketball Hall of Fame is a major tourist attraction located near Boston, Hartford and New York City. There are 238 basketball legends and four teams enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame