April 9, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe completed her outstanding season by earning a pair of awards as the team honored its award winners at the Wildcats’ season-ending banquet.
Ibekwe was named the team’s Most Valuable Player as well as the Best Defensive Player. Other awards handed out included the Get Money Award (Ashley Frazier), Polkey’s Pride Award (Sarah Hays) and the Golden “A” Award (Ipek Turkyilmaz).
A native of Carson, Calif., Ibekwe was a 1st-team all-Pac-10 selection, an all-Pac-10 defensive team honoree and was named to the Associated Press All-America honorable mention list. She led the Wildcats in almost every statistical category, including scoring (456 points/15.7 per game), rebounds (336/11.6), field goals (173), steals (60), blocked shots (52), free throws (109) and double-doubles (16). Her rebounding total, which was the second-most all-time in Arizona history, was tops in the Pac-10 and 6th in the NCAA.
Frazier, a junior guard from Dallas, Texas, led the Wildcats and the Pac-10 in minutes played (1,229/39.6) and was tops on the team in assists (125) while averaging 6.8 points per game. The Get Money Award goes to the player who displays tremendous heart, toughness and competitiveness on the floor.
Hays, a local product from Oracle, Ariz., finished her senior season by starting 14 contests and contributing 3.5 rebounds while connecting on 10-of-13 free throws. The Polkey’s Pride Award, named after the late Shawntinice Polk, goes to the player who embodied the “Spirit of Polkey”, which includes putting the team first, the ability to overcome obstacles, achieving success on and off the floor as well as being a great leader and inspiration to her teammates.
The Golden “A” Award is handed out to one student-athlete on each team and goes to the person who is an excellent student while also contributing to the success of the team through great spirit and leadership qualities. Turkyilmaz, a native of Turkey, came to Arizona after two seasons at Barton County Community College in Kansas, but was unable to compete due to NCAA eligibility regulations. She remains with the team as a student manager and will perform a similar role next season.