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Byron native Lee nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

Ayoka Lee is re-writing the record books for the Kansas State University women's basketball program. The 6-foot-6 center added another bullet point to her long list of them this week when she was nominated for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

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Byron native Ayoka Lee (50), who will be a senior this fall at Kansas State University, has been nominated for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Contributed / Kansas State athletics
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MANHATTAN, Kan. — Add another big-time bullet point to the big-time college basketball career of Byron native Ayoka Lee.

The Kansas State University women's basketball standout has been nominated for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

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Lee, who will be a senior for the Wildcats in 2022-23, was nominated for the award by the Big 12 Senior Women's Administrators. The 6-foot-6 center is among 53 nominees at the Division I level.

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee will choose 10 nominees from each division to make up the national Top 30 honorees, which will be announced in October. The selection committee then will narrow the pool to three finalists from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the Woman of the Year from the nine finalists.

The winner will be announced in January at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio.

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Lee adds the NCAA Woman of the Year nomination to her large collection of academic honors which includes: two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America honors (second team in 2021; first team in 2022), 2022 Big 12 Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors.

Lee graduated from Kansas State in May of 2021 with her undergraduate degree in psychology and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in couples and family therapy. Lee is the second player in Kansas State women's basketball history to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team, joining Laurie Koehn (2004).

On the court, Lee was named First Team All-America by The Athletic and Sports Illustrated, a Second Team All-American by the Associated Press and USBWA, a Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America honorable mention recipient, a finalist for the 2022 Lisa Leslie Award, a unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection and earned her first selection to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

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Ayoka Lee

Lee completed the 2021-22 season with career-highs in points (727), points per game (22.0), field goals made and attempted (296-526), free throws made and attempted (135-175), rebounds (339), blocks (95), steals (39), assists (23) and double-doubles (20).

She was the only player in NCAA Division I women's basketball in the 2021-22 season — and the first in Kansas State history — to register 725 or more points, 325 or more rebounds and 90 or more blocks.

With her scoring average of 22.0 points per game and total of 296 field goals made, Lee set the single-season school records for scoring average and field goals made. Her 727 points rank second in school history for points in a season and set a school record for points in a junior season.

Lee was the first player in Wildcats history to average a double-double in at least two seasons, as she achieved the feat in her freshman season in 2019-20 and again in 2021-22.

Lee also set the NCAA Division I single-game scoring record of 61 points against Oklahoma on Jan. 23. She also led the Big 12 for field goal percentage, had a Big 12-best eight games with 30 or more points, and set a program record for rebounds in a season (339).

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A four-time Big 12 Player of the Week and a three-time ESPN.com National Player of the Week, Lee set the school record for double-doubles with 20. She became the sixth player in the history of the Big 12 to register 20 or more double-doubles in a season.

In Big 12 play, Lee led the league in field goal percentage (.555), 30-point games (4), games with 10 or more rebounds (11) and double-doubles (11). She finished second in the Big 12 in scoring (21.89 ppg), rebounding (9.78 rpg) and blocked shots (2.4 bpg).

Lee ranks ninth in school history for points scored with 1,661, sixth in rebounds (887), third in blocks (235), sixth in field goals made (665) and sixth in free throws made (331). She is also second in double-doubles (49).

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