Courtesy of UNLV Athletics – 

LAS VEGAS ( – UNLV women’s basketball senior center Desi-Rae Young is on the 20-member watch list for the 2024 Lisa Leslie Award, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced Friday.

Named after Leslie, who was a three-time All-American, 1994 National Player of the Year and Class of 2015 Hall of Famer, the annual award recognizes the top center in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

Young, a Las Vegas native, is the only Mountain West player on the list. She was selected to the Preseason All-MW team earlier this month and earned All-MW honors for a third straight season in 2022-23. She was named the MW Championship’s Most Valuable Player last season and also earned All-MW Defensive Team honors for a second straight year.

A 2023 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Semifinalist, Young ranked 10th in the country with 18 double-doubles (nine more than the second-leading MW player) and was 12th in the nation in field-goal percentage (.592) and 18th in rebounds per game (10.1). She has scored over 1,000 career points at UNLV and was the MW’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer (17.9 ppg) last season.

Fans are encouraged to participate in Fan Voting, presented by Dell Technologies, in each of the three rounds for the Lisa Leslie Award starting today. For more information and to vote, click here.

In late January, the watch list of 20 players for the award will be narrowed to 10, and then in late February, to just five. In March, the five finalists will be presented to Leslie and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee, where a winner will be selected. The winner of the 2024 Lisa Leslie Award will be presented on a to be determined date, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five.

UNLV RECEIVING VOTES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 31 YEARS: The two-time defending Mountain West champion UNLV women’s basketball team is receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches’ and Associated Press’ Top 25 Preseason Polls for the first time in 31 years.

The Lady Rebels, who were predicted to win a third straight conference championship during the 2023-24 season at the league’s media day earlier this month are receiving 14 points in the coaches poll (equivalent to No. 37) and two points in the AP (equivalent to No. 35). The last time the UNLV women’s basketball team received votes in the preseason Top 25 polls was just prior to the 1992-93 season.

This past season in February, the Lady Rebels became ranked during the regular season for the first time since 1994 (29 years).

2023-24 SCHEDULE: The Lady Rebels will host Cal State Los Angeles in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at Cox Pavilion before opening the regular season on the road at Loyola Marymount on Monday, Nov. 6. UNLV’s home opener is set for Friday, Nov. 10 vs. College of Charleston. Click here for the full 2023-24 UNLV women’s basketball schedule.

TICKETS: Season tickets for the season are on sale at General admission seating tickets are $75. Additional discounts are available for seniors (62 and older) and UNLV alumni, faculty and staff.