The Big 12 Conference has begun to release its nominees for Female and Male Athletes of the year from each school. Baylor is the first school to have its nominees announced, with Nalyssa Smith and Jalen Pitre getting the nod from the conference to earn the honor for 2021-2022.
Smith, nominated for Female Athlete, was the number 2 pick in the 2022 WNBA draft to the Indiana Fever. She was the unanimous selection for 2022 WBB Big 12 player of the year, was named an All-American by 7 different publications, and was a 2022 Naismith Player of the Year finalist.
Pitre, nominated for Male Athlete, was the 37th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft to the Houston Texans. He was a a 2022 consensus All-American, 1st Team All Big 12, the 2022 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, and was the only player in all of D1 to have 3 fumble recoveries, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions on the year.
The Big 12 will be announcing the nominees from each school in alphabetical order through July 22nd. The winners will be announced the week of July 25th. Smith and Pitre will look to make it back to back years in which a Baylor athlete was given the honor, as Jared Butler was named Male Athlete of the Year for the 2020-2021 seasons. The female honor was awarded to Anastasia Webb, a gymnast from Oklahoma.