YSU's Brandi Brown Earns Horizon League's NCAA Woman of the Year Nomination

YSU vs. Wright State
YSU vs. Wright State

Former Youngstown State women's basketball standout Brandi Brown is one of two Horizon League nominees for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the conference office announced on Thursday. Coryn Schmit, a member of the UIC softball team, is the other nominee.

The Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.

Brown, the 2013 Horizon League Player of the Year, was one of two players nationally to rank in the top 20 in both scoring and rebounding. The senior led Youngstown State to a 23-10 mark in 2012-13, including an appearance in the WNIT. A captain both her junior and senior years, Brown spearheaded the Penguins' turnaround from a program that went 0-30 her freshman year.

The Pomona, Calif.-native departs the YSU program as the school record holder in rebounds, minutes, free throws, games and starts; Brown is just one of two players in Horizon League history to finish with at least 2,000 career points (2,079) and 1,000 rebounds (1,239). Brown capped her career by receiving First Team Academic All-American and Honorable Mention AP All-America honors.

A Communications Studies major, Brown graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.74 grade-point average. A member of Lambda Pi Eta, a communications honors society, Brown regularly volunteered to read to area elementary school classes, along with speaking to young girls about self-esteem, relationships and faith. An active member of the YSU faith community, Brown served as president of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Schmit became just the second First Team Academic All-American in UIC history in 2013, coming on the heels of a third team selection her junior season. A three-time UIC Female Student-Athlete of the Year, Schmit was a Second Team All-Horizon League pick in her senior year, wrapping a career that saw her lead the Flames in RBI both her junior and senior seasons.

Holding a 4.0 grade-point average in kinesiology, Schmit is a member of UIC's Honors College, which requires students to hold at least a 3.5 GPA. Schmit was awarded for being the kinesiology student-athlete with the highest GPA in 2012 and is a member of both the National Society of Collegiate Honors and the Golden Key International Honors Society.

Throughout her senior year, Schmit spearheaded a season-long initiative for the UIC softball team to raise money for breast cancer research. With the "FLAME-ingo Drive," UIC raised more than $4,000 over four months. Over the last eight years, Schmit has given back in her hometown, serving as a community leader at the Lake Zurich Baseball and Softball Association.

The NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 23rd year, the award is unique because it recognizes not only the athletics achievements of outstanding young women, but also their academic achievements, community service and leadership.

A total of 429 female student-athletes, spanning NCAA Divisions I, II and III, were nominated for the 22nd annual NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The selection committee will choose 30 women, 10 from each division; the 30 finalists will be invited to Indianapolis in October when the award-winner will be announced.

Release courtesy of HorizonLeague.com