Rice and North Texas basketball stars named C-USA Athletes of the Year

Story courtesy: Conference USA Media Relations


Conference USA announced today that Erica Ogwumike of Rice women’s basketball and Javion Hamlet of North Texas men’s basketball were selected as the 2019-20 Michael L. Slive Conference USA Athletes of the Year.  This marks the first time that the Male and Female Athletes of the Year were both basketball players since the honors began in 2003-04.

Ogwumike is the first female to be named C-USA Athlete of the Year in back-to-back seasons since the award began in 2003 and is just the second athlete ever to win multiple awards (UTEP Track & Field Athlete Anthony Rotich won the Male AOY three straight years from 2013-15).

Ogwumike was named First Team All-Conference USA for the third time and to the C-USA All-Defensive Team for the second straight year. She concluded the 2019-20 season as one of just four active NCAA Division I players with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Her performance earned her WBCA All-America honorable mention, Rice’s first since 2007.  Her senior campaign also saw her rank third among all guards in NCAA Division I rebounding (10.3) and 26th in the country in scoring (19.0). In her final year of conference play, Ogwumike averaged a league-best 21.3 points and 11.6 rebounds, while shooting 51.6 percent from the floor and 81.6 percent from the free throw line. In April, she was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA.

Ogwumike shined brightly in the classroom, earning CoSIDA Academic First Team All-American honors and she is a three-time C-USA All-Academic Team honoree. In addition to her basketball achievements, Ogwumike was also accepted into medical school.  In May, Ogwumike was named one of four female national finalists for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award.  The award honors minority students who have distinguished themselves in academic, athletic, and community pursuits.

Hamlet led the Mean Green to their first regular season C-USA title and first outright conference crown since winning the 1989 Southland regular season championship.  He was named to the All-Conference USA First Team and was the C-USA Newcomer of the Year.  In league play, Hamlet led C-USA in assists (95), assists per game (5.3 apg), assist/turnover ratio (2.7), free throw percentage (88.3%) and was fourth in scoring (17.9 ppg).  Hamlet’s 147 total assists this season currently ranks sixth all-time in UNT history for a single season.  The Memphis, Tennessee, native had an assist rate of 34.8, meaning 34.8 percent of the field goals that occur when he’s on the floor are assisted by him.  That figure led C-USA and ranked 30th in the nation.  In the Mean Green’s program-record 14 conference wins this past year, Hamlet shot nearly 75 percent from the field in the final five minutes of games and scored an average of seven points during the final five minutes of conference wins.

The 2019-20 season marked the 17th time that C-USA honored Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Since 2017-18, following the passing of C-USA’s founding commissioner Mike Slive, the awards have been named in his honor. The winners are determined by a vote of the conference’s Athletics Directors. 

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