Carey selected for prestigious NCAA State of Texas Woman of the Year award
INDIANAPOLIS -- Jamie Carey, former Longhorn basketball scholar-athlete and two-year National Player of the Year candidate who closed out her UT career in the spring of 2005, has been selected the 2004-05 NCAA Woman of the Year for the entire State of Texas, as announced by the NCAA national office.
The NCAA Woman of the Year, one of the most prestigious awards given by the NCAA, recognizes one outstanding female student-athlete from each state - across all Divisions (I, II and III) - who have excelled in academics, athletics and community leadership and who have completed their athletic eligibility.
Carey, a native of Thornton, Colo., currently is playing in the WNBA Eastern Conference playoff semifinals as a member of the Connecticut Sun and is a graduate student at UT in the College of Education. She is one of 51 state winners, including representatives from Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. (no nominee from Arizona). This year's state winners were chosen by a special NCAA committee from a pool of 352 nominations, 76 more than in 2004 and the most since 2000.
On September 26, 10 finalists will be chosen from the 51 state winners, based on grade-point average, athletics achievement and community service. The 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced during the annual awards dinner on Saturday, October 29 in Indianapolis.
Carey is the third Longhorn female student-athlete chosen as the NCAA Woman of Year winner from the State of Texas. She joins former UT winners Nikki Cockrell, a two-time All-American and two-time GTE National Academic All-American, who earned the honor in 1998-99, and former NCAA Champion and All-America diver Vera Ilyina who was the State of Texas winner for the 1997-88 academic year.
"It is a great honor to be named the 2005 NCAA Woman of the Year from our great state," noted Carey, who is with the Connecticut Sun as they prepare for a Friday night home game against Detroit in the WNBA Eastern Conference semifinals. "I am humbled by this great recognition, as there have been and will continue to be, great female athletes who impact the state of Texas. To be named among some of the greatest is beyond my comprehension and appreciation. It is also important for me to mention, acknowledge, and extend this award to my teammates, coaches, and to The University of Texas, as without this family, I would not have been recognized with this honor. Lastly, I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to my mom (Debbie Carey) and my dad (Mike Carey), as the two of them are truly my heart."
Enrolled in UT's graduate School of Education since January of 2004, Carey is pursuing her master's degree in sport management. She received her undergraduate degree in December of 2003 at UT in sociology/social work. As a junior and senior during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons, the 5-6 guard was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, two-time All-Big 12 performer and two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team performer. Each year, she also was a finalist for National Player of the Year honors (Naismith Award, State Farm Wade Trophy). As a senior, she led UT to a 22-9 mark, finishing second in scoring (12.2 ppg), assists (78, 2.5 apg) and steals (49, 1/6 spg) while netting a team-high 70 3-pointers.
Carey was recipient of a 2004-05 Big 12 Conference/Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship, worth $6,900. She and current NFL rookie Derrick Johnson were recipients of 2004-05 Texas Exes Lifetime Awards, annually given by the Texas Exes Association (alumni organization) to one male and one female student-athlete who display outstanding leadership and academic and community service.
Carey is a reserve guard for the Connecticut Sun (26-8), who are just one win away from a second straight conference final when they host the Detroit Sun (16-18) in the second game of their Eastern Conference semifinal on Friday (Sept. 2). Carey has appeared in 15 games off the bench, averaging six minutes per contest while shooting 31 percent from 3-point range (4-13). She was picked in the third round of the 2005 WNBA draft by the Phoenix Mercury, was cut during training camp and then was signed immediately with the Sun.
"Jamie has been in the WNBA all summer, and I miss seeing her on campus!," stated Chris Plonsky, UT Women's Athletics Director and Senior Associate AD for Men's/Women's Athletics External Services. "I am delighted that the NCAA Woman of the Year voters elected her as the State of Texas honoree. Given the number of extraordinary young women nominated from Texas-based institutions, that in itself is an achievement. Jamie is special -- as a leader, scholar and athlete."
There are three state winners from the Big 12 Conference. In addition to Carey, NCAA Woman of the Year winners are Oklahoma State University's Valentina Medina (cross country/track and field) and Kansas State's Kendra Wecker (basketball).
At the NCAA Woman of the Year dinner on October 29 in Indianapolis, ESPN personality Danielle Sargent and Kara Lawson, WNBA player and former 2003 Woman of the Year finalist at Tennessee, will serve as emcees for the evening. As part of the Woman of the Year weekend of activities, honorees will be working with youth and the Association's character-building program Stay in Bounds at the NCAA Hall of Champions. Kelly Albin, a lacrosse student-athlete from the University of California, Davis, was recognized as the 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year.