Lee Named Big 12 WBB Scholar-Athlete of the Year


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Courtesy of K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kansas – The academic accolades continue to pile up for K-State women’s basketball student-athlete Ayoka Lee, as she was named the 2022 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year in an announcement by the league office on Tuesday.

A product of Byron, Minnesota, Lee is the fifth player in program history and the sixth time overall to earn Big 12 Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors and the fifth time in the Jeff Mittie era. Since the inaugural honor in 2013, K-State leads the Big 12 with six honors (Brittany Chambers, 2013; Kindred Wesemann, 2016; Shaelyn Martin, 2018; Peyton Williams, 2019 & 2020; Lee, 2022).

Lee adds the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor to her large collection of academic honor which includes: two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America honors (second team in 2021; first team in 2022), three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team honors and received the 2021 Big 12/Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award.

Lee graduated 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 K-State women’s basketball history to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team, joining Laurie Koehn in 2004. Lee and Koehn are the only two-time recipients of CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in the history of the program.

On the court, Lee was a First Team All-American 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 by the league’s coaches and garnered her first selection to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

Lee completed the 2021-22 season with career-highs in a number of statistical categories including 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).

Lee was the only player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball this season to register 725 or more points, 325 or more rebounds and 90 or more blocks. This was the first time in the 54-season history of K-State women’s basketball in which a player reached the statistical combination of 725 or more points, 325 or more rebounds and 90 or more blocks in a single-season.

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 point total of 727 ranks second in school history for points in a season and set a school record for points in a junior season.

Lee is the first player in K-State women’s basketball 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.

As part of her 2021-22 statistical resume, Lee set the NCAA Division I single-game record of 61 points scored against Oklahoma on January 23. She also led the Big 12 for field goal percentage and a Big 12-high eight games with 30 or more points.

A two-time United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Week recipient, Lee’s 339 rebounds established a new school record for rebounds in a season.

Lee, a four-time Big 12 Player of the Week selection and a three-time National Player of the Week honor, 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 in league play (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).

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

K-State completed its 54th season of action with a 20-13 overall record, its 17th NCAA Tournament appearance and advanced to the second round for the third time in four NCAA Tournament bids under head coach Jeff Mittie. The Wildcats will enter the 2022-23 season two wins shy of 1,000 in its history. Mittie needs one victory to reach 600 in his coaching career and five wins to reach 150 during his time in Manhattan.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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