LAKEWOOD, NJ (July 28, 2022) – Hanna Thrainsdottir ’22, Georgian Court University women’s basketball forward and team captain, has been selected as a 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee.
Thrainsdottir was selected as one of 39 nominees from Division II and one of 151 total nominees from all three divisions and 17 sports.
“I am so happy just to be selected as a nominee,” said 24-year-old Thrainsdottir. “I could not have gotten here without the support of my teammates, Coach Jazz, the athletics department, my advisors, my professors, and my family. I am really proud to represent Georgian Court.”
“The entire GCU community is excited and proud to have Hanna selected as a nominee for this national recognition,” said Dr. Joseph R. Marbach, President of GCU. “Hanna is a tremendous scholar and athlete and was an integral part of our GCU community over the past four years. She truly represents the best of GCU and embodies the spirit of our core Mercy values: respect, integrity, justice, compassion, and service.”
“This is a great honor, and I am so happy for her,” said Coach Jasmina “Jazz” Perazic, who coached Hanna for all four of her years at GCU. “I don’t know anyone else, in all my years as a basketball coach and as a player, who has received this nomination. It is a huge accomplishment for Georgian Court.”
Having received a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship for the 2022–2023 academic year, the nomination is another significant milestone for Thrainsdottir. She was actively involved not only with her family in the GCU Athletics Department, but in the larger university community as president of the LGBTQ+ organization on campus, an active contributor to the Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and an international student mentor for the Office of Global Education Programs.
“Hanna has been one of the most talented student-athletes, the most wonderful teammate, and a natural leader,” said Coach Jazz. “She has made everyone on the team better including our coaching staff. Besides being an amazing athlete and an extraordinary student, she is also a beautiful person, fun, inspiring, and a person of character. It has truly been a pleasure and a privilege to coach her.”
Thrainsdottir is spending the summer at home in Iceland before she moves to Manhattan in the fall to start a master’s degree in Media, Culture, and Communications at New York University (NYU), and play basketball for the NYU team. Hanna’s goal is to conduct research on the representation of women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people in the media. She is also interested in researching the use of the Icelandic language in media.
“I am very passionate about equality for women and LGBTQ+ people,” said Thrainsdottir. “Being from Iceland, I want to be a role model for younger female athletes. I want to show them that they can be good at school and be good at sports at the same time. They can be more than just one thing. If I can help one girl continue doing what she loves to do, then I will be happy.”
The NCAA will announce the Top 30 honorees on ncaa.org in October. From those 30 candidates, the selection committee determines the top three finalists in each division. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the Woman of the Year from the nine finalists which will be announced during a ceremony at the NCAA Convention in January. For details visit ncaa.org/woty.
“It is amazing to be noticed, and if I make it to the next hurdle, I will be on top of the world,” said Thrainsdottir.