LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas super-senior Zakiyah Franklin is one of 20 preseason candidates for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
The award is presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), with a national committee of top college basketball personnel determining the watch list. To be considered for the prestigious award, candidates must exhibit the floor leadership, playmaking and ball-handling skills of Class of 1996 Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.
Franklin returns for her fifth season at Kansas and has previously been named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team. Last season, she was an All-Big 12 First Team selection after leading the Jayhawks in scoring, averaging 15.7 points per game. She scored in double figures 31 times, including 10 games with 20-plus points and twice scoring more than 30 points. Franklin, who was named to the WNIT All-Tournament Team, set new single-season school records for both free throw percentage (87.8%) and three-point field goal percentage (49.5%) in 2022-23.
From Lakeland, Florida, Franklin has started 115 games in her four years at Kansas. She enters her final season ranked No. 12 on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,536 career points and fifth in career assists with 431. Franklin was named the Big 12 Player of the Week for the first time in her career last December.
Franklin is one of five point guards from the Big 12 on the watch list, joined by Rori Harmon (Texas), Emily Ryan (Iowa State), Serena Sundell (Kansas State) and Sarah Andrews (Baylor).
The list will be narrowed to 10 in late January, with plans to announce the five finalists in late February. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, where a winner will be selected.
Kansas opens the 2023-24 season on Wednesday, Nov. 8, against Northwestern State, the first of five non-conference home games at Allen Fieldhouse. Season tickets for the upcoming campaign are now on sale. For as low as $90, fans can reserve their seat by visiting KUAthletics.com or calling 800-34-HAWKS.