After the conclusion of a tremendous four-year career with the FGCU women's basketball program, recent graduate Sarah Hansen of McKean, Pa./General McLane High School was announced as FGCU's NCAA Woman of the Year nominee this week.
The Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Hansen is recognized as one of 205 Division I nominees.
A chemistry major and mathematics minor, Hansen graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 3.87 this spring. As an honors student, she earned a 4.0 GPA in four semesters and received Dean's List or higher distinction in each semester during her five-year stint in Southwest Florida.
The Pennsylvania native's most recent academic award a position on the DI-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete team complemented a long list of athletic and academic achievements.
Hansen was named the program's first ever Capital One Academic All-America Division I Second-Team member and earned All-District Four honors three years in a row. She was also a Rhodes Scholar nominee and earned three-consecutive Atlantic Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year awards.
Athletically, Hansen stands as one of FGCU's most decorated alumni. As the team's captain and only senior, Hansen led the team to its fourth-straight regular season title with 13.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game during the 2013-14 season. She also recorded a team-high shooting percentage at .480 and led the team with 64 steals during the regular season.
She recorded six double-doubles on the year with four in the last seven games of the regular season and produced 25 games with double-figure points with two 20+ point performances. She also led the Eagles in scoring on seven occasions and led the team in rebounds 20 times.
For her performances, Hansen earned her second-straight Atlantic Sun Player of the Year award and her third-consecutive First Team All-Conference nod.
In Hansen's four years on the court, the Eagles never finished below first place in the Atlantic Sun standings. Hansen's tenure boasts 110 team wins that include notable victories over LSU, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and USF and a mark of 70-4 in Atlantic Sun play. She guided the team to two NCAA Tournament appearances, in which the Eagles took a higher-seeded team to overtime on both occasions.
The prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award also considers community and campus service. Hansen recorded nearly 200 hours of community service as a representative of FGCU. She volunteered with the Imaginarium of Fort Myers, the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida and most recently the Trails 4 Tails initiative, in which Hansen's group raised funds and awareness for The Ocean Conservancy to aid Florida's endangered marine life.
In its 24th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award acknowledges a nominee from each member institution. Each conference then selects up to two women from the nominees to represent the conference. The Woman of the Year selection committee then selects the top 30 honorees 10 from each division.
From the top 30 candidates, the selection committee determines the top three in each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will vote from the finalist pool to determine the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year this fall.
The top 30 honorees will be recognized with the 2014 Woman of the Year announcement at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Sunday, Oct. 19.