Ali Patberg Named To Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List


SPRINGFIELD, Mass.  – Senior guard Ali Patberg has been named to the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award preseason watch list on Monday afternoon, announced by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.


Returning for her sixth season of eligibility, Patberg coming off an impressive junior campaign where she was selected as an All-Big Ten First Team and WBCA All-American honorable mention. She started in all 32 games and averaged a team-high 15.6 points, 5.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor and a +2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Columbus, Ind. was a top 10 finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award in 2020 and is one of two top 10 finalists returning from last season. In addition to appearing on the nation’s top point guard watch list, Patberg also earned spots on the Wooden Award, Ann Meyers Drysdale Award and Naismith Trophy watch lists in the 2019-20 season. She earned Academic All-Big Ten and CoSIDA All-District honors as well as she graduated from IU’s Kelley School of Business in May 2020 with a degree in finance and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in recreational administration.


Now in its twenty-second year, the award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates. To be considered for this prestigious award, candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Class of 1996 Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.


College basketball fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies in each of the three rounds. In early February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In early March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee.


The winner of the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award will be presented April 9, 2021, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.


Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (2018-20), Kelsey Plum, Washington (2017), Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut (2015-16), Odyssey Sims, Baylor (2014), Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame (2012-13), Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga (2011), Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State (2010), Renee Montgomery, Connecticut (2009), Kristi Toliver, Maryland (2008), Lindsey Harding, Duke (2007), Ivory Latta, North Carolina (2006), Temeka Johnson, LSU (2005), Diana Taurasi, Connecticut (2003-04), and Sue Bird, Connecticut (2000-02).


For more information on the 2021 Nancy Lieberman Award and the latest updates, log onto and follow @hoophall and #LiebermanAward on Twitter and Instagram. Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, November 13.



2021 Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award Candidates*

Destiny Slocum Arkansas
DiDi Richards Baylor
Dyaisha Fair Buffalo
Micaela Kelly Central Michigan
Paige Bueckers Connecticut
Tiana England Florida State
Ali Patberg Indiana
Tra-‘Dayja Smith Longwood
Hailey Van Lith Louisville
Amy Dilk Michigan
Myah Taylor Mississippi State
Raina Perez NC State
Cece Hooks Ohio
Diamond Johnson Rutgers
Nevena Dimitrijevic St. Francis – Brooklyn
Tiana Mangakahia Syracuse
Lauren Heard TCU
Kyra Lambert Texas
Dru Glyten Utah
Katia Gallegos UTEP


*Players can play their way onto and off of the list at any point in the 2020-21 season


About Nancy Lieberman:

Playing hoops on the rough-and-tumble Harlem courts, Brooklyn-bred Nancy Lieberman learned to play a physical, aggressive style of basketball unlike other women of her time. As a 5’10” point guard, Lieberman was taller than many of the guards of her era, and her ability to drive to the hoop, dish out assists, and grab hard-fought rebounds served her well during her stellar career. She scored over 2,400 pts, 1,100 rebs and 961 ast as she led the Lady Monarchs to a 125-15 record. 1 WNIT Title and back to back Nat’l Championships in 1979 and 1980 (102-6 her last 3 years)


Before her illustrious career began at ODU, Nancy made the 1975 USA Pan Am team that won the Gold Medal in Mexico City she was a HS Jr at Far Rockaway HS at the time. 1976 as a member of the USA’s first Women’s Olympic which won the Silver Medal. Team Lieberman made history by being the youngest Olympian in basketball ever, male or female (which still stand today) Lieberman led Old Dominion University to back-to-back AIAW national championships in 1979 and 1980. She was twice named as the Wade Trophy winner — a basketball first as the nation’s top female athlete during those two seasons, 3-time All-American. Lieberman was the two-time winner of the Broderick Cup as well., Lieberman played professionally in the first women’s pro league in the WBL 1980-81 and in 1984 in the WABA. Earning WBL MVP honors with the Dallas Diamonds in 1981, she led the team to the 1984 WABA championship and was league MVP


In 1986, she signed to be the first women to play in a men’s professional league in the USBL with the Springfield Fame, and in 1987 with the Long Island Knights. She joined the 1987 Harlem Globetrotter world tour with the Washington Generals. 1997 Lieberman made history in the inaugural season of the WNBA, playing for the Phoenix Mercury at the age of 39 and in 2008 playing for the Detroit Shock at age 50! Her coaching career started in 1998 as the Head Coach/GM for the Detroit Shock taking the Shock to the playoffs in year 2. In 2011, she was the first women Head Coach hired in the NBA D-League for the Dallas Mavericks affiliate the Texas Legends and led them to the playoffs. In 2015, she became only the second women hired as an Assistant Coach in the NBA with the Sacramento Kinds. She was named a recipient of the 2017 Mannie Jackson Basketball’s Human Spirit Award for her on-going philanthropic work across the country through her Nancy Lieberman Charities, changing the lives of underserved youth across the country. In 2018 Nancy Lieberman became the 1st Female Head Coach in a Men’s Professional League with the BIG3 League for team Power. Nancy lead team Power to a 2018 Championship victory and was selected Coach of the Year, becoming the first female in history to be awarded Coach of the Year. Follow Nancy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @Nancylieberman and go to for more information.