ATLANTA, Ga. – Kahlia Lawrence has been named the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s 2017 Georgia Women’s College Player of the Year, as announced by the organization on Thursday.
This marks the third time that a Mercer player has won the award as Andrea Congreaves received it in both 1992 and 1993. This is also just the fourth time that the award has gone to a player not from The University of Georgia or Georgia Tech. In addition to Congreaves, Lawrence joins the ranks of former winners which includes Naismith Hall of Fame members Teresa Edwards and Katrina McClain.
“This is a tremendous honor for Kahlia; she has worked hard every year she’s been here,” said head coach Susie Gardner. “Obviously she’s a great scorer and leader on our team, but what people don’t always recognize is that she always defends the best offensive player on the opponent’s team. Of the great players I’ve coached, Kahlia is the most humble and that’s what makes her special. When she has the success and receives the accolades that she has, her teammates, her coaches, everyone in the program is happy for her.”
This season, the Columbus, Georgia, native led Mercer to its second straight Southern Conference regular season championship and third consecutive postseason appearance. Lawrence averaged 18.0 points per game and pulled down 4.9 rebounds per game. She shot 42.6 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from behind the three-point line. Lawrence also tallied her 1,500th career point and 500th career rebound, becoming just the fifth player in program history to reach both milestones. Additionally, Lawrence became the SoCon’s active leading scorer and currently has 1,570 career points.
The junior was also named the 2017 SoCon Player of the Year, becoming just the sixth player in league history to be named the Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. Lawrence was also named the 2015 SoCon Freshman of the Year and is now the first player in conference history to have her consecutive Player of the Year honors immediately preceded by claiming Freshman of the Year. She was also named to the All-SoCon First Team and All-Tournament Team.
Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, which are the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s college basketball players, coaches, administrators and officials.