For the third straight season, a Baylor Lady Bear brought home the Heisman of women’s basketball

April 30, 2014
Photo of Odyssey Sims, shooting a jumpshot

Outgoing senior Odyssey Sims received the 2014 Wade Trophy from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) in Nashville on April 7 (an award received by Brittney Griner in 2012 and 2013). The Wade Trophy is the oldest women’s basketball national player of the year honor, dating back to 1978; based on that history, it is sometimes referred to as “the Heisman of women’s basketball.”

Sims moved into the spotlight in her senior year, and the four-year starter directed the team to a 32-5 record. The young squad played the undefeated and eventual national champion UConn Huskies to a closer margin than anyone did all season, losing 66-55.

As Baylor’s top offensive weapon, Sims became the second woman in Division I history to score 1,000 points in a season, finishing a mere eight points shy of the NCAA record. Her 28.5 points per game set a Big 12 record as well as the Baylor record, which had been 24.6 ppg set by Suzie Snider Eppers, BSEd ’77, in 1976-77. She leaves Baylor as the Lady Bears’ all-time leader in career 3-pointers and assists; she also ranks among the top 5 in steals (second) and points (third).

The Wade honor capped a long line of kudos for Sims this spring:

  • Big 12 Player of the Year,
  • Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year,
  • Lieberman Award winner (nation’s top point guard),
  • Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award winner (top player under 5-foot-9, first won by Baylor coach Kim Mulkey in 1984),
  • consensus All-American,
  • Wooden Award All-American (second year),
  • Basketball Writers Association Women’s All-America Team (third year plus Freshman of the Year in 2011) and
  • WCBA All-American (third year).
  • She was a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year and the Wooden Award.
  • With her unanimous selection as AP All-American, she became Baylor’s second multiple first-team AP All-American.
  • Sims also was one of eight women selected in the 3-point competition of the 26th Annual State Farm College Slam Dunk and 3-point Championships as part of the Final Four events.

Next up for Sims? The WNBA draft. At presstime, Sims was expected to be the 10th Lady Bear draftee in the last 13 years, likely joining fellow first-round picks such as Sheila Lambert, BSEd ’06 (2002), Danielle Crockrom, BA ’03 (2002), Sophia Young, BSEd ’06 (2006), Bernice Mosby, BSEd ’07 (2007) and Griner (2013). She is also on pace to graduate this May with a degree in speech communication.

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