Dec. 6, 2013
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh women's basketball team is well-represented on the ballot for the 2013 Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year with both first-year head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio and former standout Shavonte Zellous up for the annual award.
McConnell-Serio, in her first season at the helm of the Panthers, arrived at Pitt after six years at neighboring Duquesne University. The Women's Basketball Hall of Famer led the Dukes to their fifth-straight postseason appearance and a 24-8 record last season, tying a school record for program wins in a single season.
A two-time Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year, McConnell-Serio is also a two-time Olympic medalist. She played collegiately at Penn State, where she set a host of assist records - two which still stand today (career assists-1,307; single-season assists per game -11.8).
Former Pitt standout Shavonte Zellous enjoyed her most successful season in the WNBA this past summer. The Indiana Fever guard was named the 2013 WNBA Most Improved Player, receiving an overwhelming 30 of 39 notes from a panel of national writers and broadcasters.
Zellous doubled her scoring average from the previous campaign, averaging 14.7 points per game. In her fifth season, she opened the year with double-figure scoring in 15-straight games and tallied 10 or more points in 24 of 30 contests. Zellous, a three-time All-Big East performer, was also selected to her first WNBA All-Star squad this past season.
As a Panther, Zellous helped lead Pitt to two NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 showings (2008, 2009), a school-record 25 wins (2009) and the highest ranking in program history (2008). She led the team in scoring for three-straight seasons (2006-2009) and closed her stellar career ranked third in scoring (2,251 points).
The Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction has been Dapper Dan Charities' signature fundraising event since 1936. This sports banquet was one of the first in the nation and served as the model for the hundreds of charity dinners featuring athletes that followed. It continues to be Pittsburgh's largest and most prestigious sports banquet.
The event is a celebration of scholarship and sports excellence that honors the best athletes in high school, college and professional sports, with proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania youth sports leagues. Award recipients will be confirmed by the Dapper Dan Charities executive committee and announced in mid-December. They will then be recognized at the 78th annual Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction on Feb. 6, 2014.
Pitt also has representation on the men's side with Aaron Donald, defensive tackle on the football team nominated for Sportsman of the Year.
Voting ends at midnight on Sun., Dec. 8 - http://old.post-gazette.com/dapperdanvote/
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