Naz Hillmon makes UM women's history as first-team AP All-American

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Naz Hillmon and the Michigan women's basketball program sure like breaking new ground.

Hillmon, a senior forward who earlier this year became the first Michigan basketball player, man or woman, to score 2,000 points and collect 1,000 rebounds, has been named a first-team All-American by the Associated Press. She's the first first-team AP All-American in the program's history. She was second-team AP last year.

Michigan forward Naz Hillmon (00) celebrates during the finals second of the team's 62-51 win over Michigan State.

"This is such an incredible honor for Naz to be recognized as one of the top players in the country," head coach Kim Barnes Arico said in a statement. "She obviously makes such an impact on the court for our program and has helped elevate Michigan women's basketball.

"It's not what just she does on the court, but it's also her impact in the community and her ability to continue to use her voice for change that are such a huge part of her legacy at Michigan."

Hillmon was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection for the fourth time, also a first for the program. She was also on the all-defensive team, and has made first-team All-America from The Athletic and Sports Illustrated this season.

She's up for the Naismith Award as player of the year, though that's expected to go to Iowa's Caitlin Clark.

Hillmon was joined on the first-team AP by Clark, Kentucky's Rhyne Howard, South Carolina's Aliyah Boston, Baylor's NaLyssa Smith and Stanford's Haley Jones. Hillmon and Jones tied for the fifth spot.

Hillmon, who averages 21 points and 9.4 rebounds and has 14 double-doubles this season, is leading No. 3 seed Michigan (22-6) into a first-round NCAA Tournament matchup with No. 14 American (23-8) at 3:30 Saturday at Crisler Center. The Wolverines are hosting the first two rounds.

The Wolverines reached the top five in the AP rankings this season after a slew of dominating victories over ranked opponents, and currently are ranked No. 12. They're a contender to get beyond the Sweet 16, which they reached for the first time in program history last year.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984