Despite ending her Ohio State career just shy of an NCAA Tournament Championship game, Kelsey Mitchell will still go down as a Buckeye, Big Ten, and overall collegiate basketball legend. Her trophy case is already getting pretty full, but Mitchell will add at least one more as the winner of the 2018 Dawn Staley Award.
The Dawn Staley Award is given to the most outstanding collegiate guard in college basketball, and exemplifies certain skills, like ball handling, scoring and distributing the ball to teammates. Mitchell certainly fits all those requirements, and then some, including her career-high 148 assists this season, adding to an already insane stat sheet.
In addition to her penchant for getting her teammates plenty of touches, the four-time All-American also finished the year ranked third in the NCAA in scoring (24.3 ppg), shot 44.8 percent from the floor, 40.2 percent from the arc, and had a career-low in turnovers (78) during her senior season. Her effort wasn’t overlooked either, as she was named the Big Ten’s Player of the Year for her third time.
Mitchell is the kind of player you wish would never leave Ohio State, but she’s stayed as long as she could -- and we should all be honored she did. She’s set all sorts of new benchmarks for elite basketball players throughout the Big Ten conference and NCAA — for both men’s and women’s basketball — including finishing her career as the NCAA’s second all-time leading scorer with 3,402 career points. Combined, Mitchell owns 30 school, conference, and national records, and among only three other players to exceed 3,000 points and 500 assists.
(Please don’t go, Kelsey. Please don’t go.)