Norianna Haynes wins Female Athlete of the Year at the 2016 HBCU Awards

Former Alcorn State University Lady Braves basketball star Norianna Haynes added another award to her mantle for her dominance on the court.

The 2015-2016 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Women’s Player of the Year won the Female Athlete of the Year Award at the Sixth Annual HBCU Awards Ceremony Friday, July 15 at the University of the District of Columbia. She led the SWAC in scoring by averaging 20.3 points a game. Her 568 total points ranks 39th in NCAA. She recorded a league high 12 double-doubles. In conference play, Haynes averaged 20.9 points and 9.9 rebounds. She recorded 222 free throw attempts (7th in NCAA), making 157 (14th in NCAA).

This is a huge achievement for Haynes. She was overcome with positive emotion upon receiving the news. She said that she appreciates all of the high praise for her hard work.

“I am so honored,” said Haynes, a Meridian, Mississippi native who graduated from Alcorn in May. “This is a big accomplishment. There are so many talented players and for them to select me as the best among those players is simply amazing. I’m really excited about winning this esteemed award.”

Although she has garnered lots of success, Haynes remains humble. She continues to give credit to her coaching staff and teammates for pushing her to be her best.

“Without their support, none of this would be possible. Their motivation is the sole reason why I have been able to perform at a high level. They also played a big role in encouraging me while I was dealing with injuries. For that, I am thankful.”

Lady Braves Head Coach Courtney Pruitt congratulates Norianna for being a stand out athlete and person. She expressed her faith in her former player’s ability to earn more accolades in the future.

“I’m very proud of Norianna,” said Pruitt. “I’m so happy for her. This couldn’t have happened to a better person. She faced a lot of adversity in her personal life and overcame injuries during last season. She was able to overcome those bumps in the road to win both SWAC Player of the Year and now the Female Athlete of the Year at the HBCU Awards.”

Haynes has reached the pinnacle of her basketball career. After having a stand out performance at the Indianapolis Professional Basketball Overseas Combine in April, multiple international teams are vying to make her the newest member of their team. It’s an opportunity that Haynes looks forward to embracing.

“Playing professional basketball is another giant step in my career. I feel that if I stay consistent with my performance, then everything would work out for me. So I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”

After carefully weighing her options, Haynes chose to sign a one-year deal with Portugal's Clube Desportivo Torres Novas women's basketball team in June.

HBCU Digest sponsored the Sixth Annual HBCU Awards.

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