Last Wednesday, Her Hoops Stats released the 2024 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List — a prestigious list composed of only 25 basketball players from the mid-major schools in the country. The 2024 list includes senior captain and 2023 Ivy League Player of the Year Kaitlyn Chen.
Chen has been a force on the women’s basketball team ever since she arrived on campus. In her sophomore year, she was recognized as the 2022 Ivy League Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, after a remarkable Ivy Tournament in which she led the Tigers to a win against Columbia in the championship game, scoring 30 points on her own. That same year, Chen also contributed greatly to Princeton’s win against No. 6 seeded Kentucky in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament, before the team eventually fell in a one-point loss to Indiana. With 17 points in the first-round game, Chen helped boost Princeton to their second March Madness win ever.
Even more dominant last season, Chen averaged 16.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game — in comparison, Stanford's Haley Jones, a top player going into the 2022-23 season, averaged 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in the 2021-22 season. Notable appearances include leading the team to back-to-back Ivy Tournament Championships, with 21 points and six rebounds in the championship matchup against Harvard, as well as leading the Tigers to their third NCAA tournament win in history, with 22 points and seven rebounds against NC State.
Chen’s outstanding performance throughout her junior year led her to be recognized back-to-back as the Ivy League Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Ivy League Player of the Year, and First-Team All-Ivy and placed on the Ivy League All-Tournament Team. In and out of the Ivy League, there is no doubt that Chen’s exceptional season last year has caught the attention of many.
Being named on the 2024 Becky Hammon Preseason Watch List means that Chen is being recognized on the national level. A mid-season watch list will be released in January before semi-finalists for the Hammon Award are announced in February 2024. The final winner will be announced at the end of March. According to the announcement, Princeton is one of four schools — along with Drake, Gonzaga, and South Dakota — to have had four different players named to on at least one watch list since the award's creation in 2020.
The list is subject to change throughout the season, but as long as Chen continues to play the way she has, she should be just fine.
Allison Ha is a contributing writer for the Sports section at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.