Chris Uhler / Lantern photographer
Jantel Lavender has received numerous accolades throughout her career at Ohio State. The senior center can now add 2010-11 Associated Press Preseason All-American to her resume.
The three-time reigning Big Ten Player of the Year was also named to the AP’s Preseason All-American team last season and went on to average 21.4 points and 10.3 for the Buckeyes.
Lavender said she spent her summer improving her game to earn higher honors at the end of the season.
“The goal is to be a national player of the year,” Lavender said. “I really improved my game over this last summer because I’ve gotten a chance to be here for the whole summer. I’m looking forward to being a much better player in every aspect, mentally, physically, and a good teammate.”
A 65-member national media panel selected the team. Joining Lavender on this season’s team is Connecticut’s Maya Moore, Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Oklahoma’s Danielle Robinson.
Being selected to the team is the latest preseason honor for the Cleveland native. Lavender was also named to the watch list for the Wooden Award, given to the nation’s top player, besides being named the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year.
Lavender is also on pace to break Katie Smith’s OSU women’s career scoring record of 2,578 points. Lavender has scored 2,044 points in her career and averaged 20 points per game.
OSU coach Jim Foster said team success — not individual honors — would define Lavender’s career as a Buckeye.
“Preseason stuff’s nice, its great for setting expectations,” Foster said. “I think Jantel’s career will be measured by championships more so than points scored.”
Lavender said one honor in particular would mean more to her than any other this season.
“I’m not really an individualistically (sic) type of person, I’m more team-based,” Lavender said. “I don’t think that we’ve gotten to the place that I want to be, you know, as a far as a team.
“I want a national championship. I think that we’ve said that every year and, you know, it’s easily said and not easily done.”