July 29, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Senior point guard Amanda Best was named Female Athlete of the Year by the UNM Alumni Association after helping to lead the Lobo women’s basketball program to a semi-final run in the 2010-11 Mountain West tournament.
"This is definitely an unexpected honor," Best said. "I'm very thankful to have gotten this award, and couldn't have done it without my teammates, coaches, advisors and my parents."
Best made the switch from a wing player to point guard at the beginning of the season and immediately flourished in her new role. She was the only Lobo to start all 31 games this season, leading the squad in floor time with 1,032 minutes played for an average of 33.3 minutes per game and dishing out a team-high 99 assists.
Heading the team by a landslide with a colossal 248 rebounds, eight per game on the season, Best locked the five-spot in UNM record books for rebounds in a single season.
This included a career-high effort against conference rival Air Force on March 5 when she crashed the paint for 21 boards, enough to put her at 10th in school history for rebounds in a single game. The contest also marked her third career double-double, as she put up 20 points on the game as well, and warranted her first career MW Player of the Week Award.
She put up 347 points on the year to rank second on the team behind freshman Jasmine Patterson with 348, including a career-high 22-point effort against UNLV on February 23. Her 11.2 points per game tied Patterson for the team-high. Additionally, Best shot over .300 from the floor and behind the arc, draining 108-308 (.351) from the field and 20-61 (.328) from downtown.
Best saw double-figure scoring 19 times in 31 games last season, including three additional career double-doubles against Oklahoma State (10 points, 11 boards,) Colorado State (13 points, 10 boards,) and San Diego State in the opening round of the conference tournament (19 points, 11 boards.) She logged double figures in rebounds seven times in total.
Upon the conclusion of the season, she was named third-team Academic All-America, first-team Academic All-District and third-team All-MWC. She was also a member of the Holiday Inn Express-Midtown Thanksgiving All-Tournament Team. She finished the year with her name amongst the Top Ten players in five conference categories.
"For Amanda this is just a much-deserved honor," first-year head coach Yvonne Sanchez said. "She has represented New Mexico basketball both on and off the court, and this is a tremendous honor for our program."
Best is set to graduate in December and is currently studying for the MCAT with hopes to attend medical school in the future. She is also entertaining ideas of continuing her basketball career overseas.