By: Jordan Kendall, Staff Writer
Photo By Brendan Felch/ The Towerlight
Towson redshirt senior guard Kionna Jeter was named CAA Preseason Player of the Year as well as put on the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award watch list.
Jeter is the first Tiger to be named the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Preseason Player of the Year and is also the only player from the CAA named to the Hammon watch list.
“[I’m] just fortunate, excited, this is my first big award especially being on the Becky Hammon top 25 list,” Jeter said.
Last season Jeter averaged 18.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, and a CAA best 3.3 steals per game. She was named both a First-Team All-CAA and All-CAA Defensive Team selection. Jeter was named All-CAA First-Team back-to-back years, the second Tiger to achieve this since guard Shanae Baker-Brice from 2008-2010.
“I think she’s well deserved of it, especially the CAA preseason list,” Head Coach Dianne Richardson said. “And then the Becky Hammon list I would say I was a little surprised but she deserved it.”
Senior center LaKaitlin Wright praised Jeter’s work ethic. According to Wright, that’s what has allowed her to earn achievements such as the preseason player of the year and the Hammon watch list.
“I think it’s a testament to how hard she works, a testament to the competition in the CAA,” Wright said. “To work that hard it’s not just her that gets her that award, I think it’s a testament to how hard she works and how great a player I think she’ll be for us this season.”
Jeter returned to Towson this season instead of declaring for the WNBA Draft. She still plans to pursue a professional career after this season but is also looking forward to improving from last season as a team.
“As a team, regain what we had last year and continue building on winning the CAA championship,” Jeter said. “We’re still reigning CAA champions, hopefully everyone stays healthy so we can play a full season.”
The Hammon Award was introduced last season and is named for former Colorado State and WNBA star Becky Hammon. In college, she was a three-time All-American and won the Naismith Award in 1999 as the top women’s college basketball player. She went on to play 16 seasons in the WNBA and was a six-time All-Star. She is now an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and was the first full-time female coach in the NBA.
In order to be eligible, the player cannot compete for a team in one of the six major conferences which include the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, SEC, and Pac 12.
The watch list will be cut down to 15 players in January and with 10 semifinalists announced in February. The winner will be selected in late March.
Jeter was also named the CAA Player of the Week for Nov. 30 after the season opener on Nov. 25. This is her seventh time winning this award.
In the season opener vs East Carolina, Jeter helped push the Tigers to the first win of the season, 89-81 by recording another double-double. She scored 27 points and also had 12 rebounds and four steals. This is Jeter’s ninth consecutive win combined with last season. She was 9-of-21 on the floor while she was 7-of-8 for free throws. The Tigers will begin a three-game road trip on Nov. 30 that includes a trip to Xfinity Center to face no. 14 Maryland.