The Big Ten Conference announced its athletes of the year Friday
afternoon. Each of the 11 conference institutions nominates a male and
female athlete and this year, Travis Beckum and Jolene Anderson were the
two Wisconsin athletes of the year.
Beckum was the top receiver on the Wisconsin football team in 2007. He
finished the year with 75 catches for 982 yards and six touchdowns.
Beckum enters his senior season with 136 career receptions, which is
third on UW’s career list. In 2007, he was a finalist for the John Mackey Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top tight end, a
consensus first-team All-Big Ten and also named second-team All-American
by The Sporting News. His 982 receiving yards was also the most of any
tight end in the country. Beckum will be one of the top returnees on the
Wisconsin football team this fall and was already picked by various
publications as a preseason All-American.
Anderson was the most decorated female basketball player in school
history. She became UW’s first Big Ten Basketball Player of the Year
in 2008 as voted by the media after earning her second-straight Big Ten
scoring title totaling 353 points for a 19.6 points per game average in
conference only games. She was also named the 2008 Frances Pomeroy
Naismith National Player of the Year for 5-8 and under and a 2008
WBCA/State Farm Regional All-American.
She had a career-high 42 points vs. Iowa on Jan. 13, 2008, to surpass
the UW women’s career scoring record of 1,994. With 2,212 career
points she has also surpassed the men’s scoring record of 2,217 to
become Wisconsin’s all-time leading scorer for men and women. She was
UW’s first and the Big Ten’s 12th 2,000-point scorer and she
finished her career ranked fourth in Big Ten career scoring.
Anderson became the first Badger women’s basketball player in six
years to be drafted when she was picked 23rd overall in the second round
by the Connecticut Sun. She is currently a starter for the Sun in her
rookie season averaging 6.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21
minutes per game.
Also announced today were the athletes of the year for the conference.
Iowa wrestler Brent Metcalf was awarded the Jesse Owens Male Athlete of
the Year award and Northwestern lacrosse standout Hannah Nielsen was
named the Suzy Favor Female Athlete of the Year. These two, along with
many other Big Ten athletes, great games and plays from the 2007-08
season, will be recognized tonight during the Big Ten Awards Show. The
program airs at 9 p.m. (CT) on the Big Ten Network.
A complete list of this year’s nominees can be found below.
2008 BIG TEN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINEES
Illinois - J. Leman (football) Angela Bizzarri (cross country/track)
Indiana - Ben Hesen (swimming) Haley Exner (field hockey)
Iowa - Brent Metcalf (wrestling) Diane Nukuri (cross country/track)
Michigan - Kevin Porter (ice hockey) Tiffany Ofili (track)
Michigan State - Jeff Lerg (ice hockey) Sara Brown (golf)
Minnesota - Jayson Ness (wrestling) Heather Dorniden (track)
Northwestern - Dustin Fox (wrestling) Hannah Nielsen (lacrosse)
Ohio State - Andras Horanyi (fencing) Teresa Meyer (pistol)
Penn State - Casey Sandy (gymnastics) Shana Cox (track)
Purdue - Dustin Keller (football) Maria Hernandez (golf)
Wisconsin - Travis Beckum (football) Jolene Anderson (basketball)