UT Martin senior forward Chelsey Perry is one of 10 semifinalists for the 2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award.
The Becky Hammon Award was first awarded in 2020 with South Dakota’s Ciara Duffy being named the inaugural winner. Perry finished last season’s race as one of five finalists. This year’s list of semifinalists includes representation from 10 teams and eight conferences.
Perry is the only returning finalist for the award from last season and has increased her scoring volume and scoring efficiency. The Middleton, Tennessee native ranks fifth nationally with 25.7 points per game while leading the OVC in both scoring and field goal percentage. The senior ranks third in program history with 1,839 career points while holding the school record with 220 career blocks. This season she averages 25.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
Perry joins a list which features Dyaisha Fair (Buffalo), Iimari’i Thomas (Cincinnati), Kierstan Bell (FGCU), Blanca Millan (Maine), Anastasia Hayes (Middle Tennessee), Nancy Mulkey (Rice), Hannah Sjerven (South Dakota), Myah Selland (South Dakota State) and Kionna Jeter (Towson).
To be eligible for the award, players must compete in one of the 26 conferences deemed to be “mid-major.” The five finalists will be announced in early March. The winner will be announced in late March. The list is fluid and players may play their way on or off the list over the course of the season.
Hammon was a three-time All-American during her career at Colorado State and led the Rams to the Sweet 16 in 1999, the program’s only appearance to date. She was signed by the New York Liberty in 1999 and traded to the San Antonio Stars in 2007, where she played the rest of her career. Hammon retired in 2014 as a six-time All-Star and a two-time All-WNBA First Team honoree. In 2016 she was named one of the top 20 players in WNBA history. Hammon became the second female coach in NBA history when she began coaching for the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Additionally, Hammon is the only woman to be a head coach in the NBA Summer League as well as the only woman to be a member of an NBA All-Star coaching staff.