Central California Ila Lane is one of 20 players selected to the preseason watchlist for the 2024 Lisa Leslie Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Friday. This marks Lane’s third time being named to the award’s preseason watchlist.
Named after the three-time All-American, 1994 National Player of the Year, and Class of 2015 Hall of Famer, the annual award in its seventh year recognizes the top centers in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.
“Ila has been a dominant center throughout her career and deserves to be recognized as one of the best in the country,” Cal head coach Charmin Smith said. “He brings a high basketball IQ along with a strong and active presence on the low block to our team. I expect him to have an immediate impact on our squad and make his mark on the Pac.”
A native of Moraga, Lane is a graduate transfer from UC Santa Barbara and is one of 19 active NCAA Division I women’s basketball players to record at least 1,000 points and 800 rebounds for her career and one of only three active players to reach that milestone in 75 games or less.
Lane brought a long list of accolades from his time as a Gaucho with him when he arrived in Berkeley this past offseason. Last season, he led the Big West in double-doubles with 10 while also leading the conference in total rebounds (267) and rebounding average (8.1) on his way to the All-Big West First Team. Lane also led the Big West in rebounding (9.7) and double-doubles (12) during the 2021–22 season.
During his freshman campaign in 2019–20, he averaged 13.0 rebounds per game, leading the nation and setting a school record for a single-season rebounding average. In the same season, he also had 19 double-doubles, ranking first among freshmen and fourth overall in the country en route to earning All-America honorable mention honors.
Fans are encouraged to participate in fan voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds starting today.
The list will be narrowed down to 10 in late January, with plans to announce the final five in late February. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Leslie and the Hall of Fame selection committee, from which a winner will be chosen. Players have the ability to play on their own and off the list until five finalists are selected.