Anosike named NCAA Woman of the Year

Nicky Anosike didn’t know the scope of the NCAA women-of-the-year award. So in true honor-student fashion, she did her homework.

“I didn’t know how much this award entailed until I researched it,’’ the former University of Tennessee women’s basketball player said. “That’s when it hit me that I had done a pretty special thing.”

Anosike became the 18th women’s athlete to receive the award, which was announced Sunday night in Indianapolis.

The award, given to an athlete who has completed her eligibility, factors in academic achievement, service and leadership activities as well as athletics.

Anosike referred to it as “an all-around award.”

“I think the biggest thing is being at a school like the University of Tennessee that is so demanding athletically,’’ Anosike said. “And carrying the GPA that I had probably put me over the top.”

Anosike, who made the WNBA all-rookie team last month after her first season with the Minnesota Lynx, is playing overseas in Israel and was unable to attend the award ceremony.

Her mother, Ngozi, accepted the award on her behalf. Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt also was in attendance.

“In a way, I’m upset I couldn’t be there,’’ Anosike said. “In another way I’m happy that the people responsible for me getting this award, can accept on my behalf.”

Anosike, who was one of nine finalists, is the third Lady Vol to be honored. Former swimmer Catherine Byrne was the recipient in 1992 and diver Lauryn McCalley in 2005.

Anosike also was the second basketball player to be honored. Former Connecticut All-American Rebecca Lobo received the award in 1995.

“Because I’m only the second basketball player to win makes it extra special,’’ Anosike said.

The 6-foot-4 post player, a two-time Final Four all-tournament honoree, was an academic All-American who graduated in May with a triple major in political science, legal studies and sociology. She was a Boyd McWhorter postgraduate scholarship winner.

Anosike was a member of the UT student-athlete advisory committee and volunteered at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The finalists submitted personal statements on their behalf. Anosike wrote:

“I was not the superstar. I did the unglamorous work that wins games and brings success in life. Some of our most effective leaders are not in the spotlight but lead by example through hard work and dedication. This assertion reflects who I am and what I hope to become.”

When considering the scope of Anosike’s accomplishments at Tennessee, Summitt conceded, “I don’t think I knew how special she would be. I don’t think I had any idea.”

Summitt’s lasting impression of Anosike is of someone who meant business — regardless of the enterprise.

“She’s very serious about what she does,’’ Summitt said. “If it’s playing basketball or going into the academic arena and wanting to be the best there, too.”

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Comments » 19

utvolz#637682 writes:

Congrats Nikki! I admire your accomplishments both on the court and in the classroom. You represent all that it take's to be a LADY VOL! Congrats also go out to CPS and her staff as well!

Frank in Manchester!

wkjq#213863 writes:

Great job Nikki, cogradulations.

bustervols writes:

I love Sike.

ncvol writes:

Way to go Nikki. That is so special and I think you are so deserving. Best Wishes while in Israel. Be glad when you get back to USA. We love you, Nikki.

kbart4033#247331 writes:

Congratulations to a very special, classy person!

knoxtenor writes:

Funny how Pat's players always manage to get good grades, stay out of trouble, be upright pillars of the community, win both athletic and nonathletic award after award, etc... oh, and win eight national titles or be in contention thereof. Meanwhile, some big-time players in a certain other sport at UT are being arrested for drunk driving, flunking out of classes, serving as negative role models, etc... oh, and reminisce about a national championship that is as old as their amateur sports careers.

RockyTop1 writes:

GREAT job what a Lady VOL!!

DroopyDrawers writes:

What a great award for a special person. My wife and I thought you were an outstanding Lady Vol and a great person.


rockytopron writes:

Pat continues to get the highest quality people for her program and this award speaks volumnes about her program and Nicki as a person.

Pat is a one of a kind coach and Nicki is a very special person. Glad they are both Lady Vols.

richvol writes:

I was critical of Nicki's play at times during the past two regular seasons. However, I was really impressed with Nicki's play in both of the post season NCAA tournaments. There is no doubt we would not have won either championship without her stellar play and leadership.

So let me congratulate her on this award and I know she will be successful in every area of life...God bless.

ps11824 writes:

Nicky was definitely one of my favorite all time Lady Vols. I hate it when the reporters use the term 'Ex-Lady Vol. Don't they know by now, "once a Lady Vol, always a Lady Vol?"

Anosiki always had her game face on. You never saw her take a play off, and when she did not get the job done she was her own worst critic. She definitely was the engine pushing the team to the '07 championship. Her leadership and determination was key to back-to-back titles.
She's obviously wired that way for life as well as hoops. I want to congratulate her and wish her well in her pro career abroad.

Perhaps we'll have some Nicky clones on the Summitt Court this year.

LadyVolsEighTimes writes:

Nicki's Leadership on and off the court will be missed. She and Alexis didn't stand in the SHadow of Candace Parker, they were both back there holding Parker up much of the time. You have to throw Shannon in the mix as well, we badly needed a high energy Point Guard when we were blessed with Shannon.

Names like Zolman, Spencer, Bjorkland all have to come to mind when you think of how Candace had Three Ballers on the court to draw some defenders attention.

Fuller coming off the bench didn't give opponents a rest from Parker, just an extra gasp of air.

Congrats Niki on your Award and on your lifestyle, and Alex congrats on the Double Ring Year, oh and Candace that is a nice Gold Medal you brought home from China.

ladivolfan writes:

Wow, what an honor. And such class. What's that? You've never heard of a Lady Vol being arrested for drugs or drunk driving? You've never heard of a Lady Vol holding up a convenient store? And you don't know of any Lady Vols that have gotten into trouble for bar fighting? Athletics, Academics and Community. That's what you'll hear about with our Lady Vols. That's because the Lady Vols know that class is what it's all about.

Volfantm writes:

Great job! I am especially impressed with the class work. Expect great things from this lady post basketball. Lady Vols forever!

tenacee#580995 writes:

This Young Lady was the heart of this team. You could see it in her eyes and her play. And some of the comments over the years from her team mates sort of made you think that they didn't want to answer to her. And her accomplishments so far in her life are nothing less than excellence. Now this is a real role model. It took a lot of moxie to shake her head no to PHS. I thank her for being here to play for The Lady Vols. Look for more great things out of this young Lady.

Congratulations for a very prestigous award Nicky Anosikie.

MillisaAnn writes:

Congrats Nikki!!!

BigOrangeVol writes:

Big props to Nicky and her family! I would be more proud of my daughter for winning this award than I would the Final Four MVP. Nicky exudes class, dignity and decorum.

Forgive the haters, they just aren't intelligent enough to know where the football articles end. You guys going over to the volleyball, softball, track and soccer articles to slam Fulmer too? Haters have no class, dignity or decorum. They don't know how to spell it, pronounce it or define it.

xvolx writes:

totally deserved.

17chewy writes:

You (and I mean you) at the least won two national championships for us. I love all the girls. They were all great players. However... As the years pass I always will remember Nic. Thank You

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