Cats Place 8 on Academic All-Big 12 Team

IRVING, Texas For the second straight season, Kansas State women’s basketball placed a league-high eight student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 team on Thursday in an announcement by the Big 12. All eight of K-State’s honorees received a first team citation, breaking the school record of 7 first team selections from last season.

Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services and the media relations offices, the women’s basketball academic all-league team consisted of 34 first team members combined with nine on the second team.  First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of her team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.


Wildcats to earn the Academic All-Big 12 first team honor were: senior Marlies Gipson (elementary education), senior Shalee Lehning (electronic journalism), senior Kelsey Nelson (elementary education), senior Danielle Zanotti (psychology), junior Ashley Sweat (kinesiology), junior Kari Kincaid (elementary education), sophomore Kelsey Hill (agricultural communications) and sophomore Shalin Spani (kinesiology).


Gipson, Lehning and Zanotti each earned their third career Academic All-Big 12 first team honor, while Sweat and Kincaid garnered their second. First time recipients were Nelson, Spani and Hill.


For Gipson, Lehning and Sweat, Thursday’s honor adds to their selection as a CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VII selection. Lehning earned first team honors, while Gipson and Sweat were named to the second team.


Lehning went on to become K-State’s fourth CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America selection in school history, with her third team honor. Lehning is also a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and is leading the fan vote, which counts for a third of the overall vote. Visit to vote for Lehning every day until March 22.


Kansas State will conclude the regular season of its Big 12 schedule on Saturday at Colorado. Game time is set for 3 p.m. (CT) from Boulder, Colo. The contest can be heard live on the K-State Sports Network.