Nov. 3, 2010
TUCSON - University of Arizona Wildcat women's basketball player Ify Ibekwe has been named to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award watch list, it was announced on Wednesday.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
"This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for Ify," head coach Niya Butts. "She's definitely a leader on our team and has the ability and talent to be one of the top players in the country this season. We are looking forward to an outstanding senior season from Ify."
Ibekwe, a 6-2 forward from Carson, Calif., is a two-time All-Pac-10 and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team member while also being chosen as the 2009-10 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year by the league's media members. During the 2009-10 season, she became the program's single-season record holder for rebounds with 352, besting the previous mark of 339 set in 2004. Her career rebounding average of 10.5 is also the tops in Arizona history while she also holds the top two single-season rebounding averages.
In 2009-10, Ibekwe led the Pac-10 in rebounding with 11.4 rebounds per game, good for ninth in the NCAA. She also tallied 18 double-doubles on the season, which was 15th in the nation. She tallied in double figures in 24-of-31 contests that included scoring 20 or more points in five games. She set single-game career bests for points, rebounds, assists and steals during the season and pulled down double-digit rebounds in 21 contests with 15 or more boards in seven of those games.
"I'm very excited to get this season going," Ibekwe said. "The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award always recognizes the top NCAA student-athletes and I'm honored to be part of that group. We have a great team dynamic this season and I think we are going to surprise some people. We have a strong group of veterans and our newcomers are really playing well. This will be a great season for Arizona basketball."
The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 women's finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Arizona will play next when the Wildcats face Western State on Sun., Nov. 7, at 12:30 p.m., at McKale Center. For tickets to the Arizona Wildcat women's basketball games, call 800-452-2287.
For more information about the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.