April 28, 2014
Minnesota point guard Rachel Banham was named Female Athlete of the Year and center Amanda Zahui B. garnered Female Rookie of the Year honors at tonight’s Golden Goldys. The annual event is a student-athlete awards gala and was held at TCF Bank Stadium. This year’s Golden Goldys were held in conjunction with the scholar-athlete banquet.
Banham and Zahui were both 2014 WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team honorable mention selections this season. Banham, who was named the Female Rookie of the Year in 2012, earned all-america honorable mention accolades for the second-straight season, while Zahui was one of only two freshmen to get honorable mention accolades from the WBCA.
A native of Lakeville, Minn., Banham was a unanimous All-Big Ten First Team selection after securing the Big Ten scoring title with her 23.3 points per game average in conference only games. She became the first Gopher since Carol Ann Shudlick in 1993 to earn the distinction and only the third all-time, while her average was the highest since Penn State's Kelly Mazzante averaged 25.1 points per game in 2002. In all games played, Banham also led the Big Ten with a scoring average of 22.1 points per game.
The guard paced the Big Ten with 22 games scoring 20 or more points and six games scoring 30 or more points this season. Earlier in March, Banham was named to the Wooden Award Final Ballot, the Wade Trophy Watch List and the Dawn Staley Award Watch List, which is bestowed upon the best guard in the nation.
Banham ranks fourth all-time at Minnesota with 1,993 career points, and needs just seven points to become the fourth Gopher in program history to score 2,000 points in her career. With 750 points last season, Banham broke Minnesota's single-season scoring record and also holds the record for most three-point field goals in a season with 93. Both numbers rank in the Big Ten's single-season top-10.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Zahui collected Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors after averaging a double-double with 15.4 points and a conference-best 11.5 rebounds per game in league only contests, while also averaging 15.1 points and 11.6 rebounds in all games played. She also paced the Big Ten in blocked shots, tallying 3.1 blocks per contest, and holds Minnesota's single-season record with a total of 105 blocks on the year.
Palma Kaposi Signs with Gophers
The forward from Hungary will have three years of eligibility starting in 2016-17.
Banham Named B1G Athlete of the Year
The senior guard was chosen from nominees representing all 14 conference schools.
Mable, Banham NCAA Woman of the Year Nominees
Minnesota's two nominees will be in consideration for the award's 26th presentation since its inception.