FHSU Sports Information Department
Fort Hays State’s Kate Lehman has been named one of the 147 conference honorees for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. She was one of a record 480 women nominated for the award by schools at all NCAA levels.
Lehman earns this honor after being named the women’s recipient of the MIAA Ken B. Jones Award (Conference Student-Athlete of the Year). She was the first student-athlete in FHSU history to earn the Ken B. Jones Award.
The Woman of the Year selection committee will next select the top 10 honorees in each NCAA division (I, II, and III). These top 30 honorees will be announced in early September. The selection committee will then choose and announce the nine finalists (three from each division) at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will cast votes among the nine finalists to determine the 2015 Woman of the Year. Lehman is among a pool of 39 Division II candidates that will be narrowed down to 10 in September.
The top 30 will be honored and the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 18. Now in its 25th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award recognizes graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
Lehman adds yet another accomplishment for the 2014-15 season, a year that saw her earn All-America First Team honors from four organizations and the National Player of the Year from BennettRank.com. She was both the MIAA Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. She earned the conference’s top defensive honor and All-MIAA First Team honors for three consecutive years and was named to the All-Defensive Team all four years.
Lehman also excelled in the classroom throughout her time at Fort Hays State, graduating with a 3.85 GPA as an Elementary Education major. She was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team in 2015.
Lehman reached a distinction no other NCAA Division II women’s basketball player in history had ever accomplished in 2015. She was the first ever at the level to have at least 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 blocked shots in a career. She went on to finished with 1,917 points, 1,109 rebounds, and 515 blocks in her career, only the second player in Division II history to reach 500 career blocks.
All of Lehman’s accolades throughout the 2014-15 season caught the attention of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn. Her jersey will hang in the Hall of Fame’s “Ring of Honor” for a full year in recognition of those accomplishments.