CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia women’s basketball graduate forward Sam Brunelle has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2023nKatrina McClain Award, as announced today (Oct. 20) by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

The award announced today the 20 watch-list candidates for the 2023 Katrina McClain Award. Named after the two-time All-American and 1987 National Player of the Year, the annual award, in its sixth year, recognizes the top power forwards in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

“Katrina McClain was a standout power forward throughout her career,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “We’re proud to recognize these tremendous student-athletes that have proven themselves as the best at their position. As we launch our fan voting component tomorrow, we encourage fans to cast their votes alongside Katrina and our distinguished selection committee.”

Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds starting Friday, October 21. In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the 2023 Katrina McClain Award will be narrowed to 10 and then in late February to just five. In March the five finalists will be presented to McClain and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee where a winner will be selected.

The winner of the 2023 Katrina McClain Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Award (Point Guard), Ann Meyers Drysdale Award (Shooting Guard), Cheryl Miller Award (Small Forward) and the Lisa Leslie Award (Center), in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.

Previous winners of the Katrina McClain Power Forward of the Year Award are NaLyssa Smith, Baylor (2021), Ruthy Hebard, Oregon (2018, 2020) and Napheesa Collier, Connecticut (2019).

2023 Katrina McClain Award Candidates*

Esmery Martinez Arizona Addie Budnik Richmond
Cate Reese Arizona Sania Feagin South Carolina
Erynn Barnum Arkansas Victaria Saxton South Carolina
DreUna Edwards Baylor Cameron Brink Stanford
Lauren Gustin BYU Jasmine Franklin Tennessee
Emma Ronsiek Creighton Aaliyah Moore Texas
Aneesah Morrow DePaul Aaliyah Edwards UConn
Olivia Cochran Louisville Alissa Pili Utah
Angel Reese LSU Maddy Siegrist Villanova
Maddy Westbeld Notre Dame Sam Brunelle Virginia


*Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2022-23 season