ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Winthrop women's basketball player Dequesha McClanahan has been voted the Big South Conference Female Student-Athlete of the Year for the 2013-14 season by the League's Athletics Directors, Senior Woman Administrators and Sports Information Directors.
The announcement was made today by the Big South Conference.
McClanahan, a native of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and May graduate with a degree in exercise science, is the first Winthrop student-athlete to win the Conference's Female Student-Athlete of the Year award, as she received 119 points and 18 first-place votes. She also is the first women's basketball player to win the honor since 2009.
McClanahan finished ahead of Campbell golfer Kaylin Yost, who was second with 46 points, Winthrop soccer player Krystyna Freda was third with 38 points, followed by Coastal Carolina softball player Kiana Quolas (33 points), Radford soccer player Che' Brown and Highlanders' volleyball player Rachel Wiechecki tied for fifth in the voting with 28 points each.
McClanahan hopes to continue playing basketball professionally in Europe.
"I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Dequesha McClanahan to be recognized as Female Athlete of the Year in the Big South Conference," said Winthrop Athletics Director Tom Hickman. "Her records and accomplishments will likely stand for quite some time both here at Winthrop and in the Big South. She was not only a great athlete and outstanding student, but also very humble. We certainly will miss her here at Winthrop and wish her the very best for the years ahead."
McClanahan is just the second player in Big South history to earn three-straight Big South Player of the Year nods. She also became the Conference's all-time scoring and assist leader with 2,277 points and 744 assists during the 2013-14 campaign. She led the Conference in scoring and assists for the third straight year, averaging 17.8 points and 6.6 assists per game. Her assist average ranked her No. 8 in the nation. She was named a First Team Mid-Major All-American by College Sports Madness and was also selected to the Division I-AAA Scholar-Athlete Team.
She led Winthrop to its first-ever Big South Conference women's basketball championship and NCAA appearance. McClanahan closed out her collegiate career with a 22-point and 6-assist performance against No. 2 seed Duke in the first round of the NCAA Championship Tournament.
"All of us are proud of Dequesha being recognized with this prestigious honor," said Winthrop Head Coach Kevin Cook. "She embodied the spirit and definition of what student-athlete means. Dequesha has left a legacy at Winthrop and in the Big South Conference that will stand forever."
The annual candidates for the award consist of the Players of the Year from each sport for the past academic year. The Big South Conference Male Athlete of the Year honor was awarded to Coastal Carolina football running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, who earned 80 points and eight first-place and became the second consecutive football player to receive the honor. He finished ahead of Coastal Carolina soccer All-American Pedro Rebeiro, who tallied 68 points in the voting. Liberty baseball All-American Ryan Seiz was third in the voting with 52 points, followed by High Point men's basketball player John Brown (45 points). Radford track All-American Vincent Wyatt received 32 points to round out the top five male vote-getters.