SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Former Fairfield High School star Jill Barta has been named to the preseason watch list for the Cheryl Miller Award.
Miller was a four-time all-American and three-time Naismith Player of the Year during her college career at the University of Southern California from 1982-86. The award in her name recognizes the best small forward in women’s college basketball.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the list of 20 preseason candidates for the Cheryl Miller Award on Wednesday.
Barta, who never lost a game during her high school career at Fairfield, is beginning her redshirt junior season at Gonzaga. She’s twice been selected to the all-West Coast Conference first team and was again a preseason all-conference selection this year. The 6-foot-4 forward led Gonzaga with 16.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season, helping the Zags to the NCAA Tournament.
Barta scored a career-high 37 points in the Bulldogs’ win over Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference championship last season, setting the league’s tournament record. She was the WCC Tournament MVP.
The Selection Committee for the Cheryl Miller Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel, including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. The list of 20 players for the 2018 award will be trimmed to 10 in mid-February. The five finalists will be announced in March, and the winner will be recognized during the Final Four on March 30.
Barta had 16 points on five-of-10 shooting in Gonzaga’s exhibition game against Northwest Christian. She added seven rebounds and two steals. Gonzaga opens its 2017-18 season on Nov. 13 at Colorado State.
For more information on the Cheryl Miller Award and the other athletes named to the preseason watch list, please click here.