MACON, Ga. – Kahlia Lawrence continues to pile up the career accolades as the senior guard has been tabbed the Atlanta Tipoff Club's 2018 Georgia Women's College Player of the Year, as announced by the organization on Friday. This is the second consecutive season that Lawrence has garnered the honor of Georgia Women's College Player of the Year.
Lawrence joins Andrea Congreaves (1992, 1993) as the only repeat winners in program history. This is just the fifth time that the award has gone to a player not from the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech and the fourth time that the award has been presented to the Orange & Black. Lawrence is only the seventh player in the history of the award to claim the honor in back-to-back seasons.
"I'm very proud of Kahlia and all of the individual honors she has received in her career," stated head coach Susie Gardner. "Our program has been enriched by having Kahlia in it. She is an exceptionally hard worker and is passionate and a great teammate. To receive the Georgia Women's College Player of the Year two years in a row is an amazing accomplishment."
The Columbus, Ga., native led Mercer to its third consecutive Southern Conference regular season title, including the program's first-ever outright SoCon Regular Season Championship. Lawrence then guided the Bears through the SoCon Tournament as Mercer won its first-ever SoCon Tournament Title and captured the program's first NCAA DI berth. Lawrence finished the season averaging 19.1 points per game, while pulling down 5.1 boards per contest. Lawrence finished the season with 636 points, ranking eighth most in a single season in program history. Lawrence ended the season shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from downtown. The senior guard finished her career with 2,275 career points, ranking third in Mercer history and in SoCon history. Lawrence also snuck into the top 10 in career rebounds at Mercer with 696 total boards.
Lawrence was also named to the 2018 SoCon Player of the Year, becoming the league's first-ever three-time Player of the Year. Lawrence was also named 2018 SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player after averaging 25.0 points per game during the tournament. The Georgia native also was named to the All-SoCon First Team and All-Tournament First 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 have become 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 of the Year. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the Men's and Women's College Basketball Coaches of the Year, Boys' and Girls' High School Basketball Players and Coaches of the Year, Basketball Officials and Outstanding Contributors to the game. Celebrating its 50th year by honoring past winners, the Citizen Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA's Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1983.