Wheatley Nominated For NCAA Woman of the Year Award
PRINCETON, N.J. – Alex Wheatley ’16 has been named the Princeton nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year award, the NCAA announced today.
Wheatley is one of 517 honorees, the most ever in the 26-year history of the Woman of the Year Award program. The four pillars of the award are academics, athletics, service and leadership. Wheatley is among 231 Division-I athletes and five Ivy-League women to be nominated.
“I’m extraordinarily honored to be Princeton’s Woman of the Year nominee,” said Wheatley. “I know how exceptional my peers are in sport and in the classroom – I’m humbled and honored to represent them. Princeton has given me so much. I’m lucky to be part of the Princeton athletics community and ‘achieve, serve, lead’ is mantra I will live by.”
“Alex is a winner in every sense of the word,” stated head coach Courtney Banghart. “She has achieved great success on the basketball court individually and for the program. Academically, she earned high honors in her major and was awarded the prestigious SINSI scholarship. Above all, she is one of the very best teammates I’ve ever coached. Alex came to Princeton with a willingness to dive into all parts of the campus and in doing so, she made Princeton better. All said, I’m most proud of how much Alex grew as a leader here. She led with her heart, played with grit, learned with curiosity. She is the perfect presentative and it’s an honor she shares with hundreds of great student-athletes in the Ivy League.”
The ecology and evolutionary biology major was part of a senior class that was one of the most successful in Ivy women’s basketball history. She helped the program go 97-23 (.808) overall and 50-6 (.892) in Ivy League play. During her time at Princeton, the Tigers won two Ivy League championships, won the program’s first NCAA Tournament game and became the first team in conference history to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Off the court, the finalist for the Princeton C. Otto von Kienbusch Award was instrumental in orchestrating Athletes Helping Athletes events, a non-profit organization used to connect local special needs athletes with mainstream student-athletes in a spirit of friendship for their mutual benefit and inspiration.
After a stellar senior season, Wheatley became just one of six players in program history to be named to the first team All-Ivy League in back-to-back years. She also nabbed honorable mention All-Ivy League as a sophomore. The forward became a 1,000-point scorer, finishing with 1,137 in her career, the 24th player all-time to reach the mark. Wheatley boasts the third highest field goal percentage (56.1) in women’s basketball history and also showed off a great all-around game as well, finishing with over 500 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 blocks and 100 steals in her career.
Wheatley was grateful to the people that helped her during her time at Princeton, “I'd like to thank my coaches and teammates, as well as the team around them (administrators, professors, faculty fellows, and many others), for helping me to grow as a student, an athlete, and a person during my time here, mentioned the recent graduate. “An extra thank you goes out to my teammates: thanks for being my family on campus.”