Women's basketball analyst Brenda VanLengen wins 2016 WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award

Women's basketball analyst Brenda VanLengen wins
2016 WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award

ATLANTA (March 2, 2016) – Brenda VanLengen, a women’s basketball analyst on ESPN and numerous regional sports networks, is the winner of the 2016 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) Mel Greenberg Media Award, the WBCA announced today.

Named after Mel Greenberg, the Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter who founded the Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll, the WBCA’s Mel Greenberg Media Award is presented annually to a member of the media who has best displayed a commitment to women’s basketball and to advancing the role of the media in the women’s game. Selected by past recipients of the award, the candidate must have had a positive impact on the growth and national or regional exposure of the sport, been involved in the media exposure of women’s basketball for a minimum of five years and should be a media ambassador for the women’s game. Greenberg, the pre-eminent name in women’s basketball coverage, was named the winner of the inaugural award in 1991.

"I am pleased to announce Brenda as this year's recipient of the WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award," said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. "Brenda has been an extraordinary proponent for women’s basketball and has worked tirelessly to preserve, promote, and protect the priceless stories that make up our game’s historical record.  The WBCA salutes and applauds Brenda for his contribution of time and talent to advance women’s basketball."

VanLengen is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster working for ESPN women’s college basketball since 1996 and for FOX Sports for 17 seasons. Her vast knowledge of the game and ability to break down the specifics of the game led her to operate the ART enhanced telestrator for the NCAA Women’s Final Four since 2005 and the WBNA Finals since 2011. Additionally, she has worked seven NCAA Division II National Championships and three NAIA National Championships.

VanLengen covers games in seven major conferences (American, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, Missouri Valley, Mountain West and SEC) during the regular season for a variety of networks. She took the lead analyst role for women’s basketball in the Big 12 Conference on FOX Sports. In 2014, VanLengen was named an analyst for women’s basketball on the SEC Network.

Early in her career, VanLengen led Kansas City’s efforts as the executive director of the 1998 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Preceding her broadcast career, VanLengen coached basketball for eight seasons, including five at the University of Nebraska. VanLengen was recognized as a “Distinguished Alumni” in 2008 at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where she endows “The Ann Stockton Memorial Scholarship” for the women’s basketball program.

VanLengen continues to play an active role on the court serving as an instructor at youth basketball camps, provides group and individual lessons. She developed a series of workshops for collegiate student-athletes and serves as a motivational speaker.

VanLengen will be formally recognized during the WBCA Convention that is held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four® in Indianapolis.

As the 26th winner of the award, VanLengen joins a distinguished list of recipients, including: Graham Hays, ESPNW (2015); Mary Jo Havebeck, Penn State University (2014); Vicki Friedman, Freelance Writer (2013); Mike Carmin, Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier (2012); Carol Stiff, ESPN (2011); Dick Patrick, USA Today (2010); Chuck Schoffner, Associated Press (2009); Dan Fleser, Knoxville News-Sentinel (2008); Debbie Antonelli, CSTV (2007); Bill Jauss, Chicago Tribune (2006); Dave Loane, University of Illinois (2005); Tam Flarup, University of Wisconsin–Madison  (2004); Mechelle Voepel, Kansas City Star/ESPN (2003); Bob Kenney, Courier Post (2002); Robin Roberts, ABC News (2001); Vic Dorr, Richmond Times-Dispatch (2000); Ann Meyers Drysdale, ESPN (1999); Mary Garber, Winston-Salem Journal (1998); the late Mitch Parkinson, Southern Illinois University (1997); Debby Jennings, University of Tennessee (1996); the late Mike Augustin, St. Paul Pioneer Press (1995); Mimi Griffin, MSG Promotions/ESPN (1994); Jane Burns, Des Moines Register (1993); Debbie Becker, USA TODAY (1992); and Mel Greenberg, Philadelphia Inquirer (1991).


About the WBCA:
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association promotes women's basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game in all of its aspects as a sport for women and girls. For more information about the WBCA, please visit wbca.org.