FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Former Arkansas softball standout Danielle Gibson has been named Arkansas’ nominee for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award, the NCAA announced Thursday.
The award, established in 1991, recognizes the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female collegiate student-athletes from all three NCAA divisions. To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have earned her undergraduate degree by Summer 2022.
Next, conference offices will select their nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year. Each conference’s nominee will be announced by the NCAA in August.
Gibson became the program’s first two-time NFCA All-American in 2022 after completing a remarkable four-year career with the Razorbacks and taking the program to new heights. Gibson set single-season schools records in batting average (.445), hits (81), RBI (70) and total bases (155) as a senior.
Hailing from Murrieta, Calif., Gibson was previously recognized as a Top 10 Finalist for USA Softball’s Collegiate Player of the Year award to go along with NFCA First Team All-American, NFCA First Team All-South Region, First Team All-SEC, SEC All-Defensive Team, SEC Community Service Team and CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-America distinctions. Gibson led the SEC in RBI (33) and total bases (65) during league play and tied for the lead in home runs with 10. Additionally, the slugger became Arkansas’ all-time RBI and total bases leader in 2022.
Getting the job done both on and off the field, Gibson became the program’s seventh student-athlete and first since 2014 to accumulate Academic All-America honors from CoSIDA.
Closing out an already legendary Razorback career, Gibson was named to the SEC Softball Community Service Team for the second consecutive year in May. A dynamic leader at first, Gibson also exemplified her natural leadership skills within the local community. She regularly participated with Miracle League while assisting with Healthy Hog Calls by traveling to local elementary schools to discuss the importance of healthy eating and exercise. In Fall 2021, Gibson made goodie bags and wrote “Thank You” letters to first responders. Volunteering with local missionaries, Gibson cooked meals, including holiday dinners, and volunteered with her church to teach boys ages 8-12 about life skills. Gibson and the Hogs volunteered with the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and read to students at local schools. Gibson was also heavily involved with “Shopping with the Razorbacks Money Donation”, where she fundraised and collected money to shop for Christmas presents.
Gibson is currently pursuing a professional career with Athletes Unlimited (AU) after participating in the league’s inaugural AUX season in California. Earlier in May, Gibson was one of 13 college players selected in the AU draft.