ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Big South Conference announced on May 15 that women’s basketball player Dequesha McClanahan and track & field athlete Jeanne Stroud are the finalists for the conference's 2013-14 Woman of the Year award.
The award is sponsored by Big South Corporate Partner Musco Sports Lighting, and the winner will be announced and presented her award on Thursday, May 29, at the Big South’s Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The Big South's Woman of the Year Selection Committee voted McClanahan and Stroud as the two finalists among the 13 candidates nominated for the award. The Big South’s Woman of the Year winner is nominated as a candidate for the national NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
McClanahan concluded her four-year career as just the second player in league history to be voted Player of the Year three consecutive seasons. She led Winthrop to its first Big South Women’s Basketball Championship and NCAA Tournament berth her senior year, and became the league’s all-time women’s basketball scoring and assist leader this season with 2,277 points and 744 assists, respectively. The first player in conference history with 2,000 points, 700 assists, 600 rebounds (658) and 200 steals (282), McClanahan, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was also named to the Big South Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team in 2013-14.
Named to the 12th annual Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Scholar-Athlete Basketball Teams for 2013-14, the Big South’s first honoree in three years, McClanahan is an exercise science major who graduated from Winthrop on May 10, and has spent three years volunteering with the Friedham Park Community Day Celebration, and Eagle Week with the Boys & Girls Club. She has also volunteered at First Baptist Church in Rock Hill and with the university's Global Learning Games. The two-time team captain has also been involved with planning dinner and activities with a local Adult Assisted Living Community, Christmas Unicef activities and various on-campus fundraisers -- including Winthrop volleyball’s Think Pink Night. McClanahan was also among the 30 initial candidates for the national Women’s Basketball Senior CLASS Award.
Stroud is an 11-time All-Conference performer during her four-year career -- three-time honoree in cross country, three-time performer in the indoor track & field 5,000-meters, and five All-Conference honors in outdoor track & field (3 – 10,000m, 2 – 5,000m). Stroud captured four conference titles during her time at Winthrop, winning the indoor 5,000-meters twice in addition to the outdoor 5,000m and 10,000m. She was the 2013 Big South Outdoor Track Outstanding Female Performer and is the school-record holder in four events -- the indoor 5,000-meters, and the outdoor 3,000-meters, 5,000-meters and 10,000-meters.
An English major from Charleston, South Carolina, who graduated from Winthrop on May 10, she served as Winthrop’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) president this past year and has been a SAAC member since her freshman season. She has been a race buddy for the Richmond Drive Girls on the Run, and was involved with the Big South SAAC food drive (2012-13) and Soap for Souls (2010-11), as well as Eagle Week activities with the Boys & Girls Club of York County. Stroud has also organized and led shopping trips to buy supplies for the Boys & Girls Club, has been involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and has been vice president of the Omicron Delta National Leadership Honor Society. In addition, she has been a South Carolina Commission for Higher Education’s Legislative Incentive for Future Excellence (LIFE) scholarship recipient all four years at Winthrop.
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