Big 12 News

Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee is Finalist for Lisa Leslie Award

Kansas State center Ayoka Lee, who will play Friday in the Big 12 Tournament, is one of the five finalists for the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award.

The other finalists are Elissa Cunane of NC State, Aliyah Boston of South Carolina, Tamari Key of Tennessee and Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech.

Lee was named to the All-Big 12 First Team by both the league’s coaches and by Heartland College Sports, which released their teams earlier this week.


Lee, who will lead the Wildcats against the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12 quarterfinals on Friday evening, set an NCAA Division I record with 61 points in a game against Oklahoma in January. Shortly after that, she was named the ESPN Women’s Player of the Week and announced that she would be returning for her senior season, eliminating any speculation about leaving early for the WNBA.

She’s been her most dominant this season, as her 679 points and 279 made field goals are new career single-season highs. She is the first player in K-State history with 675 or more points, 300 or more rebounds and 90 or more blocks in a season. Lee is also the only player in the nation to average 20 or more points, 10 or more rebounds and 3 or more blocks.

The award is named for Leslie, who played her college ball at USC and had a Hall-of-Fame career in the WNBA and international basketball. She was a three-time WNBA MVP, a two-time WNBA champion, a member of the WNBA’s first All-Decade team and a four-time Olympic gold medalist.

2022 Leslie Award Finalists

(Big 12 Players in Bold)

Ayoka Lee, Kansas State

Elissa Cunane, NC State

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

Tamari Key, Tennessee

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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