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Kiah Stokes (UConn) and Jamie Kaplan (Tulane) in running for 2015 Women of the Year Award. Press Release from the AAC.

POSTED July 23, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The American Athletic Conference and the NCAA have announced that basketball standouts Kiah Stokes of UConn and Jamie Kaplan of Tulane are the conference’s nominees for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Now in its 25th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.

Stokes and Kaplan are among a record 147 female student-athletes who have been named as 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year honorees by their respective conferences. They were chosen from a record 480 nominees of NCAA member institutions, spanning 18 sports and all three divisions.

Stokes was a member of three NCAA championship teams at UConn and was chosen as the 2015 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. She set UConn’s single-season record with 147 blocked shots in 2014-15 and finished her career in third place on the Huskies’ career chart (325 blocks).

A native of Marion, Iowa, Stokes graduated from UConn’s honors program with a degree in sport promotion. She was active in a number of community service efforts as an undergraduate, including a Thanksgiving food drive that delivered more than 3,500 items of food to the Hockanum Valley Community Council.

Stokes was selected by the New York Liberty with the 11th pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft.

Kaplan was chosen as the American Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year in March. She helped the Green Wave reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in five seasons in 2015 as she started 31 games, averaging 6.9 points and 4.7 assists. She finished her career in second place on Tulane’s career assists chart (582) and set the school’s single-season record in 2013-14 (209 assists).

A Melbourne, Florida, native, Kaplan graduated from Tulane with a degree in neuroscience. She was a Senior CLASS Award First Team All-America choice and a 2015 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team nominee. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and worked with a number of programs to extend her learning beyond the classroom. She conducted concussion research on behalf of the National Football League Players Association as well as the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine’s Administration of Concussion Screening/Baseline Testing. She composed her honors thesis on comparing the effects of ADD/ADHD and mild traumatic brain injury on high school and collegiate athletes.

Kaplan was an active participant in the Renovations and Remodeling initiative in New Orleans and has volunteered at the Tulane Cancer Center and the Touro Infirmary Public Service Emergency Department.

The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will next select the top 10 honorees in each division. These top 30 honorees will be announced in early September. The selection committee will then choose and announce the top nine finalists (three from each division) at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will determine the 2015 Woman of the Year from those nine finalists.

The top 30 honorees will be honored and the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at a ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 18.


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