Duke basketball: Lady Blue Devils hand out individual awards

Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team announced its individual award winners for the 2019-20 season after the year was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Just like the men’s team, the Duke women’s basketball team was not able to hold its end of the year banquet and awards ceremony because of COVID-19.

However, the team still recognized those individuals who would be presented with awards based on their performance during the 2019-20 season.

To the surprise of no one, senior guard Haley Gorecki was named as the Most Valuable Player after averaging 18.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game on 39.7 percent shooting from the field and 33.7 percent from 3-point range.

Gorecki was also named as the winner of the Playmaker Award, Assist-Maker Award, Best Rebounder, and Best Free Throw Shooter.


The Illinois native was selected by the Seattle Storm in the third round of the WNBA Draft last week.

Gorecki’s fellow senior, Kyra Lambert, was named as the Defensive Player of the Year, as well as winning the Best Defender Award and the Senior Award, which is given to the senior who will do whatever it takes to win a championship.

Lambert spent five years at Durham, after tearing her ACL in the 2017-18 season and using a redshirt.

ALSO READ: Haley Gorecki gets drafted by Seattle Storm

The Texas native will head back home and spend her graduate season playing basketball for the Longhorns at the University of Texas.

Onome Akinbode-James was presented the Most Improved Player Award in addition to the “Choice Not Chance” Scholar-Athlete Award, which is given to the player with the highest grade point average on the team.

The Duke basketball sophomore played in 30 games this season and averaged 4.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per contest.

ALSO READ: Leaonna Odom selected by New York Liberty in draft

Lastly, redshirt sophomore Mikayla Boykin was named as the Sixth Player of the Year after averaging 7.1 points and 1.1 rebounds per game after seeing the floor in just 17 games due to recovery from an ACL injury.

The Duke basketball team finished the premature season with an 18-12 record (12-6 ACC) but was upset in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament by Boston College; however, the Lady Blue Devils were set to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2017-18 season.