2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Finalists

5 players named finalists for the second-annual Becky Hammon Award presented by Her Hoop Stats

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Hopewell, N.J. (March 10, 2021)--We are proud to announce the five student-athletes that have been named finalists for the 2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award presented by Her Hoop Stats. The Becky Hammon Award was first given out in 2020, with South Dakota’s Ciara Duffy being named the inaugural winner. This year’s list of finalists includes representation from five teams and four conferences.

Below are the five finalists, listed in alphabetical order by school. Stats are through March 8 and only include games played against Division I opponents.

IImar'I Thomas, Cincinnati, F, Sr.
24.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.2 BPG

Thomas has looked great all season, but she has managed to hit another level as of late. The senior has put the team on her back, leading the Bearcats on a four-game winning streak before a loss to the AAC No. 2 seed in the conference tournament quarterfinals. Thomas has been the catalyst in some near misses in the upset department, most notably taking South Florida into overtime thanks to her 23 points and seven assists.

Kierstan Bell, FGCU, G, So.
24.5 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2.1 BPG

Bell has been a revelation for FGCU, leading the Eagles into the AP Top 25 despite several key departures from last season’s team. Bell’s scoring efficiency is something very few players have replicated in the past few seasons. Between 2015-16 and 2019-20, only three other players recorded a season with more than 1.25 points per scoring attempt and over 24.0 points per game with at least 20 games played: Megan Gustafson in 2017-18 and 2018-19, and Kelsey Plum in 2016-17. It’s always a good sign when a player shows up on lists exclusively filled with all-time NCAA greats.

Blanca Millan, Maine, G, R-Sr.
21.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 3.0 SPG

Millan has looked like her old self all season after going down early last season with an injury. The redshirt senior has the Black Bears sporting a 17-2 record, including a win over UMass Lowell where her 27 points, eight rebounds, and game-sealing block lifted Maine to a two-point win. Millan and the Black Bears have a shot at the AEC auto-bid when Maine will face off against Stony Brook on Friday. A win would put Maine back in the NCAA tournament for the third time in the last three iterations of the tournament.

Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota, C, Sr.
17.1 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.3 BPG

Sjerven has the Coyotes clicking when it matters most, winning each of their last nine games since we announced the 10 semifinalists in February. Her 0.53 win shares per 40 minutes is the third-highest in the nation, and her effectiveness on both ends of the court places her in the top 25 in offensive and defensive win shares. With a very solid supporting cast around her, don’t sleep on South Dakota in March.

Myah Selland, South Dakota St., F, R-Jr.
19.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.8 APG

Selland scored efficiently all season and was a key contributor in wins over mid-major stalwarts Gonzaga, Missouri State, and a two-game sweep over South Dakota. Despite her season-ending injury cutting short a stellar season, Selland still proved to be an immensely valuable player in South Dakota State’s resurgence in not only the SDSU/USD rivalry but also to national relevance.

Award Eligibility & Schedule

To be eligible for this award, players must compete in one of the 26 conferences deemed to be “mid-major.” The following conferences are considered high-major for the purposes of this award, and thus ineligible: ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC. In November, the 25 members of the preseason watch list were announced and the 15 members of the midseason watch list were announced in January. The 10 semifinalists were announced in early March, and the winner will be announced in late March. The list is fluid and players may play their way on or off the list over the course of the season.

About Becky Hammon

Hammon was a three-time All-American during her career at Colorado State and led the Rams to the Sweet 16 in 1999, the program’s only appearance to date. She was signed by the New York Liberty in 1999 and traded to the San Antonio Stars in 2007, where she played the rest of her career.

Hammon retired in 2014 as a six-time All-Star and a two-time All-WNBA First Team honoree. In 2016 she was named one of the top 20 players in WNBA history. Hammon became the second female coach in NBA history when she began coaching for the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Additionally, Hammon is the only woman to be a head coach in the NBA Summer League as well as the only woman to be a member of an NBA All-Star coaching staff.

About Her Hoop Stats

Her Hoop Stats was founded in 2017 to unlock better insight about women's basketball at all levels. We began as a statistics site focused on providing consistent, reliable, and easy-to-access data about women's basketball for both mobile and desktop environments. Her Hoop Stats has expanded to become a leading independent voice in the women's game providing content through our newsletter, podcast, and social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Thanks for reading the Her Hoop Stats Newsletter. If you like our work, be sure to check out our stats site, our podcast, and our social media accounts on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.