Griner becomes Baylor's second Honda Award winner as Zuzana Zemenova was honored in women's tennis in 2005 after winning the NCAA singles title as a freshman.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. As a Honda prize recipient, Griner becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Honda Cup. She was chosen by a vote of coaches from 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Stanford University, Skylar Diggins of the University of Notre Dame, and Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware.
"I am both humbled and honored to receive the Honda Sports Award for women's basketball," said Griner. "I want to thank the voters and Collegiate Women Sports Awards for this prestigious honor, as well as my coaches, teammates, and especially my mom and dad, for without all of them, this would not be possible."
Griner led Baylor to a 40-0 record, the 2012 NCAA national championship and the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles.
In 2012, the three-time All-American was named the AP Player of the Year, earned both the Wade and Naismith Trophies, was the Wooden Award winner, received the Ann Meyers Drysdale Player of the Year award from the USBWA, named the WBCA's National Defensive Player of the Year and was the most outstanding player of both the Final Four and the Memphis Regional. In addition, Griner has earned numerous Big 12 Conference honors over her three seasons, including Big 12 Player of the Year twice and All-Big 12 honors three times.
The 6-foot-8 center from Houston, Texas, averaged 23.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and a nation's high 5.2 blocks per game this season. With 2,425 points and 599 blocks to her credit, Griner is the first NCAA player to score more than 2,000 points and block more than 500 shots and needs just 65 blocks to become the all-time block shot leader.