Hittner Named the MVC’s NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee

AP FILE PHOTO - Drake guard Becca Hittner, right, drives around Northern Iowa defender Taylor Hagen during the first half of a Missouri Valley Conference basketball game Feb. 24, 2017, at the Knapp Center in Des Moines.

Recent Drake University women’s basketball graduate Becca Hittner is one of 59 nominees in Division I for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

From a program-record pool of 605 school nominees, the NCAA announced 161 women as conference-level nominees that represent student-athletes from 21 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those nominated, 59 nominees competed in Division I, 39 in Division II and 63 in Division III.

The honor from the NCAA is another in a long line of recognition for Hittner, who was selected as the female recipient of the Missouri Valley Conference’s Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award in June. She is Drake’s first-ever female recipient of that accolade. Hittner is slated to begin her professional basketball career in September with C.B. Al-Qázeres in the Spanish League, LF Endesa.

In 2019-20, Hittner was named the Jackie Stiles MVC Player of the Year for the third consecutive year, becoming just the third Valley player to win the top award three times.

In addition to being named MVC Player of the Year for the third-straight season, Hittner collected several league and national honors in recognition for her outstanding final season at Drake. She was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America second team and the MVC Scholar-Athlete first team. Also, she was chosen to the all-MVC first team for the fourth-straight season. In addition, she was a two-time WBCA All-America Honorable Mention selection.

Hittner earned a degree in marketing with a minor in data analytics, achieving a 3.97 cumulative grade point average. While at Drake, Hittner was an active volunteer, serving time in various organizations, including Meals from the Heartland, Habitat for Humanity, Picnic and Play, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the American Marketing Association.

The NCAA Woman of the Year program is rooted in Title IX and has recognized graduating female college athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991.

Conferences can recognize two nominees if at least one is a woman of color or international student-athlete. All nominees who compete in a sport not sponsored by their school’s primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, were placed in a separate pool to be considered by a selection committee. Four nominees from the pool were selected to move forward in the process with the conference nominees.

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division — from the conference-level nominees. The Top 30 honorees will be announced in September. From there, the selection committee will narrow the pool to three finalists from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2020 Woman of the Year from the nine finalists.

The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named this fall.


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