St. Francis College Brooklyn women’s basketball sophomore guard Nevena Dimitrijevic was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) Nancy Lieberman Award Preseason Watch List. Dimitrijevic becomes the first Terrier in program history to be named to the respective list, and the second NEC student-athlete since Saint Francis (PA)’s Jessica Kovatch during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns.
“We would like to congratulate Nevena for being selected to the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List, which recognizes the top 20 point guards in the nation. The Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List is a prestigious distinction, and the award has been won by some of the best to ever play the game at the collegiate level. Nevena continues to work extremely hard on and off the court to improve her craft. We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for her, and we are so proud of her for all that she has accomplished here in Brooklyn Heights thus far,” said women’s basketball Head Coach Linda Cimino.
Dimitrijevic joins a list that includes three tri-state area guards: Rutgers’ Diamond Johnson, Syracuse’s Tiana Mangakahia, and University of Connecticut’s Paige Buekers. The list also includes 2019 National Champion DiDi Richards of Baylor.
During her rookie campaign, the Kragujevac, Serbia native was tabbed as the NEC Rookie of the Year, selected to the All-NEC Second Team, selected to the NEC All-Rookie Team, named ECAC Rookie of the Year, and was a Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Third Team selection. Dimitrijevic also set the program record for NEC Rookie of the Week honors with seven.
Accolades would build throughout the season for the first-year Terrier as Dimitrijevic put together a pair of double-digit assist outings in 2019-20. The first came against NJIT on November 26, 2019, when she tallied 12. Then, she would re-set a career-high against LIU with 15 assists in an, 88-63, victory inside the Daniel Lynch Gymnasium. She would make her name known on Remsen Street as she carried the Terriers to victory over Bryant, on the Terriers’ home court. Dimitrijevic would net eight unanswered points, and lead her team over the Bulldogs
She was one of 30 student-athletes during the 2019-20 campaign in the NEC to post a double-double, and one of four Terriers to do so. Dimitrijevic also joined a list of six to tally 30-plus points in a single-game last season. She accomplished the feat on February 10, against Bryant in Smithfield, where she dropped a career-high 31 points.
During the 2019-20 season, Dimitrijevic finished second on the team in points per game with 14.2, behind forward Ally Lassen (14.4 ppg). She ranked sixth in the NEC in scoring, eighth in field goal percentage (37.4%), seventh in steals per game (1.9), second in assist/turnover ratio (1.74).
Most notably, Dimitrijevic led the conference with 174 total assists and averaged 6.2 per game. The per game mark ranked tied for eighth-place in the nation (tied with Marist’s Grace Vander Weide). She also finished tied for 12th in the nation in total assists with Maryland’s Ashley Owusu.
“The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate and honor both men and women at all levels of the game,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The student-athletes we are recognizing this week on the Women’s Starting Five watch lists are tremendous athletes who deserve to be applauded. We look forward to evaluating this year’s top point guards with Nancy Lieberman, a Hall of Famer who paved the way for today’s female athletes.”
College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In early February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In early March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.
The winner of the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award will be presented April 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five.
Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (2018-20), Kelsey Plum, Washington (2017), Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut (2015-16), Odyssey Sims, Baylor (2014), Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame (2012-13), Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga (2011), Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State (2010), Renee Montgomery, Connecticut (2009), Kristi Toliver, Maryland (2008), Lindsey Harding, Duke (2007), Ivory Latta, North Carolina (2006), Temeka Johnson, LSU (2005), Diana Taurasi, Connecticut (2003-04), and Sue Bird, Connecticut (2000-02).
For more information on the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award and the latest updates, log onto www.hoophallawards.com and follow @hoophall and #LiebermanAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, November 13.
2021 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award Candidates*
Destiny Slocum -Arkansas
Micaela Kelly-Central Michigan
Tiana England-Florida State
Hailey Van Lith-Louisville
Myah Taylor-Mississippi State
Raina Perez-NC State
Nevena Dimitrijevic-St. Francis Brooklyn
*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2020-21 season
About Nancy Lieberman:
Playing hoops on the rough-and-tumble Harlem courts, Brooklyn-bred Nancy Lieberman learned to play a physical, aggressive style of basketball unlike other women of her time. As a 5’10” point guard, Lieberman was taller than many of the guards of her era, and her ability to drive to the hoop, dish out assists, and grab hard-fought rebounds served her well during her stellar career. She scored over 2,400 pts, 1,100 rebs and 961 ast as she led the Lady Monarchs to a 125-15 record. 1 WNIT Title and back to back Nat’l Championships in 1979 and 1980 (102-6 her last 3 years)
Before her illustrious career began at ODU, Nancy made the 1975 USA Pan Am team that won the Gold Medal in Mexico City she was a HS Jr at Far Rockaway HS at the time. 1976 as a member of the USA’s first Women’s Olympic which won the Silver Medal. Team Lieberman made history by being the youngest Olympian in basketball ever, male or female (which still stand today) Lieberman led Old Dominion University to back-to-back AIAW national championships in 1979 and 1980. She was twice named as the Wade Trophy winner — a basketball first as the nation’s top female athlete during those two seasons, 3-time All-American. Lieberman was the two-time winner of the Broderick Cup as well., Lieberman played professionally in the first women’s pro league in the WBL 1980-81 and in 1984 in the WABA. Earning WBL MVP honors with the Dallas Diamonds in 1981, she led the team to the 1984 WABA championship and was league MVP
In 1986, she signed to be the first women to play in a men’s professional league in the USBL with the Springfield Fame, and in 1987 with the Long Island Knights. She joined the 1987 Harlem Globetrotter world tour with the Washington Generals. 1997 Lieberman made history in the inaugural season of the WNBA, playing for the Phoenix Mercury at the age of 39 and in 2008 playing for the Detroit Shock at age 50! Her coaching career started in 1998 as the Head Coach/GM for the Detroit Shock taking the Shock to the playoffs in year 2. In 2011, she was the first women Head Coach hired in the NBA D-League for the Dallas Mavericks affiliate the Texas Legends and led them to the playoffs. In 2015, she became only the second women hired as an Assistant Coach in the NBA with the Sacramento Kinds. She was named a recipient of the 2017 Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award for her on-going philanthropic work across the country through her Nancy Lieberman Charities, changing the lives of underserved youth across the country. In 2018 Nancy Lieberman became the 1st Female Head Coach in a Men’s Professional League with the BIG3 League for team Power. Nancy lead team Power to a 2018 Championship victory and was selected Coach of the Year, becoming the first female in history to be awarded Coach of the Year. Follow Nancy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @Nancylieberman and go to nancyliebermancharities.org for more information.
About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to those organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. For more information, visit us online: www.WBCA.org, follow @wbca1981 or call 1-770-279-8027.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was born, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and celebrating the game of basketball at every level – men and women, amateur and professional players, coaches and contributors, both domestically and internationally. The Hall of Fame museum is home to more than 400 inductees and over 40,000 square feet of basketball history. Nearly 200,000 people visit the Hall of Fame museum each year to learn about the game, experience the interactive exhibits and test their skills on the Jerry Colangelo “Court of Dreams.” Best known for its annual marquee Enshrinement Ceremony honoring the game’s elite, the Hall of Fame also operates over 70 high school and collegiate competitions annually throughout the country and abroad. For more information on the Basketball Hall of Fame organization, its museum and events, visit www.hoophall.com, follow @hoophall or call 1-877-4HOOPLA.