Haley Smith put together one of the most illustrious careers in Colorado athletics history when you combine her success both on and off the basketball floor.

The native of Sammamish, Wash., is the University of Colorado's 2016-17 nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year. The complete list of 544 nominees across all divisions of the NCAA will be released on Tuesday.

"Haley Smith embodies everything that is great about being a student-athlete," CU head coach JR Payne said. "Haley worked very hard to be an impeccable role model for those around her, including her peers, coaches and young people that looked up to her. It amazes me that someone who has accumulated so much academic and athletic success focused so much on serving those around her in any way that she could. Haley's selflessness continues to inspire us, even after graduation. I am blessed to be her coach and cannot wait to see what the future holds."

Qualifiers for NCAA Woman of the Year must excel in the four pillars of the award: academics, athletics, service and leadership. Smith easily checks all of those boxes.

Smith was a two-time winner of Colorado's Crystal Ford Scholar-Athlete Award and finished among the best in one of the most challenging fields of study, CU's College of Engineering as a mechanical engineering major. Balancing her academics, athletics, service and leadership, she completed her degree in May with a 3.70 grade point average, ranking 29th out of 251 students in her class. She also earned Pac-12 All-Academic honors all three years she was eligible for it, made the College of Engineering Dean's List four times, and was named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll eight times.


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Smith led Colorado to the postseason in two of her four years at CU, including the WNIT in 2017 under Payne after helping the Buffs to the WNIT in 2014 as a freshman. Her accomplishments go far beyond the win column as she became just one of 15 players in Colorado history to score over 1,000 points and grab over 500 rebounds in her career.

Smith was involved in the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy all four years at CU, participating in workshops, providing insights, strategies and skills necessary to become an effective leader on a team, a university campus and in the community.