Junior center Ila Lane of the UCSB women’s basketball team has been selected for the 2022 Lisa Leslie Award Watch List.
The addition was announced Friday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
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 fifth 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 candidates.
Lane is one of 20 student-athletes named to the watchlist, appearing on the list for the second year in a row.
The Moraga native opted out of the 2020-21 season, but she had one of the best freshman campaigns in program history, leading the Big West as the only player averaging a double-double with 15.3 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Her 19 double-doubles led the conference and ranked fourth in the NCAA. She led all freshmen in the nation in this category.
She also finished the regular season as the national leader in rebounds per game and second in the country in total rebounds (378).
The three-time Big West Player of the Week made her mark on the league scene with three 20-point, 20-rebound performances, while also corralling the eighth-most rebounds and averaging the fifth-most rebounds per game in a single season in Big West history.
Following the 2019-20 season, Lane became the fourth student-athlete in program history to be named to an AP All-American team after picking up an Honorable Mention, following in the footsteps of Santa Barbara greats in Erin Buescher (1999, 2000), Lindsay Taylor (2003), and Kristen Mann (2004, 2005). She was also the first in program history to earn selection to one of the three teams, either the first, second or honorable mention teams, as a freshman.
A few weeks prior to making the All-America team, Lane was named the Big West Freshman of the Year, becoming the first UCSB player to win the award since 2007 and the fifth to earn the honor, joining Buescher, Taylor, Mann and Jordan Franey.