Sept. 12, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Seton Hall University women's basketball graduate Alexandra Maseko (Harare, Zimbabwe) has been named a Top-9 Finalist for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year Award Thursday it was announced by the NCAA.
Maseko is the first student-athlete in Seton Hall history to be named a Top-9 Finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year. Out of an initial pool of 455 student-athletes, including 214 from Division I institutions, the NCAA announced the Top 30 finalists for the award in August. Three student-athletes from each NCAA Division comprise the Top-9 honorees.
The NCAA will announced the winner of the 2013 Woman of the Year Award as well as salute the accomplishments of the Top 30 honorees and nine finalists at the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner to be held Sunday, Oct. 20, at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
"I am absolutely stunned! What an honor and a blessing," said Maseko. "I am elated to be named a finalist and still be in the running for this prestigious award. I was excited to be selected as a Top 30 honoree and at the prospect of rubbing shoulders with some amazing young women in October. This announcement as a Top-9 finalist has truly humbled me."
"I am thankful to both the NCAA and Seton Hall University, the organization and institution without which I would never have been afforded this opportunity and this recognition," added Maseko.
The NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 23rd year, the award is unique because it recognizes not only the athletic achievements of outstanding young women, but also their academic achievements, community service and leadership.
NCAA member institutions from all three divisions nominated their own woman of the year. To be eligible, these women must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have completed eligibility in their primary sport.
Maseko has parlayed the exposure and leadership opportunities afforded her as a member of the women's basketball team at Seton Hall to truly make an impact, not just locally but also on an international scale. She represented Zimbabwe for eight years on the country's Senior Women's National Team, which she led to its highest-ever finish of 11th place in the All-Africa Games. In addition, Maseko has devoted her time to developing a successful sneaker drive to collect, transport and distribute sneakers to underprivileged boys participating in a developmental basketball program in Zimbabwe.
Maseko was a 2013 Seton Hall University Academic Merit Award recipient and a Rhodes Scholar finalist in 2012 in her native country Zimbabwe. A three-time member of the Big East Academic All-Star, she earned a 3.8 GPA in political science and is currently pursuing a master's degree in diplomacy while serving as a graduate assistant for Seton Hall's women's basketball team.
"Excelling in sport absent decent academics would never have afforded me a tertiary educative opportunity. I feel obligated to share the importance of `student' and `athlete' to those in my sphere of influence," said Maseko in her personal statement submitted to the NCAA as a Woman of the Year nominee. "Employing the leadership aspect afforded through being a student-athlete as a platform to establish a connection with one's community is something I wish to instill in others."
Maseko led Seton Hall's women's basketball team on the court, as well. She started all 31 games with the Pirates during the 2012-13 season. During her senior year she posted career-highs in points and rebounds per game and led the team with three double-doubles, landing on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the first time in her career after scoring 16 points with 10 rebounds in a win over Pittsburgh.
Maseko is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society, and was one of Seton Hall's nominees for the BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year award, as well as the women's basketball team's nominee for the BIG EAST Women's Basketball Sportsmanship Award.
She was also actively involved in a number of Seton Hall's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee community initiatives including food drives, reading programs, and mentoring activities such as the Seton Hall Pen Pal program.