Ducks advanced to their first-ever Final Four this spring and had a record number of all-Pac-12 players
For immediate release
PORTLAND, Oregon (July 30) -- University of Oregon women’s basketball has received the Oregon Sports Awards’ most prestigious teamwide honor for the first time in program history.
The Ducks, which earned their first-ever NCAA Women’s Final Four berth this spring, were announced as one of three George Pasero Teams of the Year on Tuesday.
UO has now received a record 22 George Pasero Team of the Year awards between its men’s and women’s athletic teams.
Sport Oregon, which manages the Oregon Sports Awards, and NBC Sports Northwest also announced Southern Oregon University softball and Oregon Institute of Technology women’s cross country as recipients of Pasero awards.
It is the first time any of the three teams have been named a George Pasero Team of the Year.
The Ducks’ run to the Final Four solidified their case for the honor, which was incepted in 2007 and is reserved for teams who win national and/or world championships or receive national acclaim.
UO (33-5) got over the proverbial hump with an 88-84 NCAA Regional Final victory over No. 1 seed Mississippi State on March 31. The Ducks advanced to the Elite Eight under now-sixth-year head coach Kelly Graves in the 2017 and 2018 seasons but fell short of the Final Four each time.
NCAA Tournament victories over No. 15 seed Portland State, 10th-seeded Indiana and No. 6 seed South Dakota State set up the Ducks’ matchup with Mississippi State.
The Ducks also captured their second straight Pac-12 Regular Season Championship in March. UO finished with a 16-2 conference record to earn the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament for the second straight season. It marked the fourth Pac-10/Pac-12 regular season title in program history.
UO then advanced to its second consecutive Pac-12 Tournament Championship to lock up a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and spot in the NCAA Tournament Portland Regional.
The Ducks tallied 11 wins over teams ranked in the Associated Press top-25 for at least one week during the 2018-2019 regular season.
UO’s season also spawned a host of individual awards for players and coaches. Graves won his first John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year award in March. The Ducks are 66-10 under Graves over the last two seasons.
Sport Oregon and NBC Sports Northwest will reveal Graves as one of two Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year award winners on Wednesday as well. Graves and Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts tied for first in the award vote and will share the honor.
Senior-to-be Sabrina Ionescu nabbed her second straight set of Pac-12 Player of the Year honors.
She then became just the third player in Pac-12 history to receive the Wooden Award, reserved for the nation’s most outstanding player, in April.
Ionescu also received the Wade Trophy, which is awarded by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to the nation’s top player. She was named an ESPNW first team All-American and was a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy and Staley Award as well.
Ionescu broke the NCAA record for triple-doubles in December and has run her tally to 18. She broke the Division I single-season record (7) in UO’s 96-78 win over USC on Feb. 24.
Forwards Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally and guard Maite Cazorla received all-Pac-12 honors as well. The Ducks’ four selections were a program record. Forward Erin Boley was named to the conference’s honorable mention team.
Sport Oregon, which manages the Oregon Sports Awards, and NBC Sports Northwest have partnered to announce all awards on live television throughout July. Award announcements began on July 8 and conclude on Wednesday with winner reveals for the Prep Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Prep Girls X-Country Runner of the Year, Prep Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Bill Hayward Female Amateur Athlete of the Year and Harry Glickman Professional Athletes of the Year.
Click here to access NBC Sports Northwest’s highlight reel clips of each on-air interview.
Presenting sponsor: HP
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About Sport Oregon
Sport Oregon’s mission is to drive economic growth and enhance Oregon’s quality of life through sports. Our non-profit organization has served as the state’s sports economic development arm for more than two decades, injecting more than $350 million into Oregon’s economy through sports tourism.
Supported by more than 150 annual members, Sport Oregon works relentlessly to enhance the state’s economy and quality of life by attracting sports events and franchises. Sport Oregon’s major achievements include securing the NCAA Basketball Tournament, Davis Cup World Final, multiple U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Women’s World Cup Soccer and the Dew Tour. Sport Oregon was recognized as “Sports Commission of the Year” in 2010 by the National Association of Sports Commissions. View a complete list of Past Events and Future Events.
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