Shaylee Gonzales brings the ball up against Saint Mary's on Jan. 13. (Jackson Payne)

BYU’s Shaylee Gonzales earns Becky Hammon Award midseason watchlist selection

The accolades keep piling up for No. 17 BYU women’s basketball, with sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales named one of 15 players on the midseason watchlist for the prestigious Becky Hammon Award Wednesday.

Named for former Colorado State and WNBA star Becky Hammon, the award honors the top mid-major women’s player in college basketball. Hammon is an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs and recently accepted an offer to become head coach of the Las Vegas Aces.

“It’s great for her to get the recognition she deserves,” BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. “She’s one of the best point guards in the country, and it’s nice for her and our program to earn that nomination. She’s not into that (attention) at all, she’s into playing and winning.”

Gonzales, a redshirt sophomore in her third season at BYU, has already been named West Coast Conference Player of the Week twice this season along with earning Conference Co-Player of the Year honors in 2021. Gonzales leads the WCC with 18.2 points per game this season, scoring 20-plus points eight times thus far and grabbing 5.5 rebounds per game.

“I just feel super grateful and blessed,” Gonzales said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without my teammates, so I’m super grateful for them and the hard work we’ve put in during practice and games.”

While awards help to validate the work and effort throughout the season, Gonzales knows that the job is yet to be finished as the Cougars look to close out their conference schedule on a high note heading into postseason play.

“We know that we can be better, everyone in our conference is looking at us and wanting to beat us, we know that we have to come out every single game and not let ourselves down,” Gonzales said. “We always say Final Four in our huddle, and that’s our goal.”

The Cougars’ game against Pepperdine on Thursday was postponed due to COVID cases with the Waves, but back-to-back games against San Diego on Saturday and Monday provide a sufficient challenge for the “greatest show on Earth.”

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