A former Penn State sports information director will have an award created in her memory.
The Mary Jo Haverbeck Award will be given by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBW). According to the USBW, this will be the women's version of the Katha Quinn Award which goes to men who provide special service to USBWA or sportswriters.
Haverbeck was a longtime Penn State sports information director in women's basketball who died in January after a brief illness.
"When we began to put names on awards, we had already decided Mary Jo would be honored with this one and we were waiting to see if we could get her back to a Final Four to surprise her," said Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball.
"While we could not get the honor in place quick enough while Mary Jo lived, we are thrilled to establish a lasting memory to her from USBWA. Special thanks to Malcolm Moran and Jim O'Connell, who founded the Katha Quinn Award for their support of the Haverbeck Award creation on our side."
"Mary Jo played a instrumental role in helping increase the awareness of women's athletics and growing the following of women's basketball among the general public and the media in Pennsylvania and nationally," said Jeff Nelson, Penn State assistant athletic director for communications.
"Mary Jo saw the potential draw of women's basketball as a great opportunity to increase media exposure for the sport and she was passionate and persistent in building relationships with regional and national media to further boost interest in the sport, while she was at Penn State and after her "retirement."
Penn State women's coach Coquese Washington will accept the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Mel Greenberg Media Award on Haverbeck's behalf, an honor that goes to an individual in the various media professions who positively impacts coverage of women's basketball.
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