Huzzah for former UAB women’s soccer player Danielle Blair, who just learned she is one of the top nine finalists for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Blair, who graduated this spring, is the first athlete in UAB history to make the prestigious list. She learned of her selection via overnight mail, and she’s still pinching herself.
“I am very honored and surprised to be nominated for such a prestigious award,” Blair says. “I really can't believe that I am a top 9 finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award! I’m so grateful for all the people in my life who have supported me and helped me get to where I am today. I’ve had an amazing experience at UAB and I owe a lot of that to my coach, Paul Harbin, my amazing teammates, and all of the faculty and staff.”
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award recognizes student athletes for academic and athletic excellence as well as leadership and service throughout their collegiate careers. The final nine were chosen from a group of 30, selected from 142 conference nominees. The winner will be announced Oct. 16 at an awards dinner at the Indiana Convention Center 500 Ballroom in Indianapolis. At the awards dinner, the NCAA will celebrate the accomplishments of the nine finalists and the other Top 30 honorees.
Blair will have to hustle on the field as well as to the airport to make it to the dinner, because she’ll be playing at the Pan American Games with the Trinidad and Tobago National Team.
“I plan to come in from Mexico to attend the dinner and will meet my parents and my coach there. I’ve also spoken with one of my teammates, Kate Blankenship, and she may come to support me as well. It will be nice to see her and my coach again,” Blair says.
In addition to playing for the Trinidad team, Blair also plays for a provincial women’s league, GS United, in Toronto, where she works for Coca-Cola. Blair says she’s also hoping to start her own non-profit organization for female athletics.
We’ll be waiting to hear the results of the big announcement. Meanwhile, go Danielle, and go Blazers!