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Whitney Ballinger of Campbellsville University was named the NAIA National Division I Women’s Basketball Player of the Week on Feb. 22. The honor is the fourth of her career, setting her apart from all other NAIA Division I women’s basketball players as the only one to receive the honor more than three times.
Ballinger was selected based on her performances from Feb. 14-20 and was chosen out of a pool of conference/independent/unaffiliated groupings.
The Carrolton, Ky., native played limited minutes in both Lady Tiger outings last week, but averaged a double-double with 25 points and 14.5 rebounds to go along with 2.5 assists, 1 block and 3.0 steals per game. The 6-foot, 3-inch senior forward snagged 18 rebounds in a 93-48 win over NCAA Division II Oakland City (Ind.) on Feb. 15 to pass the 1,000 rebound mark for her career. In doing so, Ballinger became the third Lady Tiger to score more than 1,000 points and collect more than 1,000 rebounds in her career. Both of these were achieved in less than 100 games played. She is currently fourth on Campbellsville’s all-time scoring list with 1,897 points.
The reigning co-NAIA Player of the Year put up a 25-point, 11-rebound performance as fourth-ranked Campbellsville toppled St. Catharine (Ky.), 120-64, on Feb. 19 to clinch the program’s third-straight Mid-South Conference regular season championship.
Ballinger is currently ranked among the nation’s top 10 in six statistical categories. Her 23.2 points average and 605 total points scored are both listed second, while her 3 blocks per game and 79 total blocks are third.
She is also fourth in defensive rebounds per game (8.7) and 10th in total rebounds per game (10.8).
The Mid-South Conference honored Ballinger on Monday by naming her the Mid-South Conference Player of the Week for the third straight week and a conference record 16th time in her three-year career.
In 2009-10, Ballinger became only the fifth NAIA women’s basketball player, Division I or II, to win the Player of the Week honor three times in her career. She joined former Cedarville University star Brittany Smart as the only one to do so three times in one season. Smart set the career mark in NAIA Division II with seven NAIA Player of the Week honors.
The final Player of the Week of the season was announced March 1.