Nominees are submitted by each Big 12 institution and selected, based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship, by a media panel as well as fan voting conducted through the Big 12's social media outlets.
Sims completed a stellar four-year career by leading the nation in points (1,504) as a senior and earning the coveted 2014 Wade Trophy, regarded as the Heisman Trophy of women's basketball. She is just the second NCAA Division I women's player to score over 1,000 points in a season. Sims was a consensus first-team All-American for the third straight season, and as a senior earned the Frances Pomeroy Naismith, the Dawn Staley and the Nancy Lieberman awards, all signifying the nation's best guard. She was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2014 WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock.
A four-time All-Big 12 and All-Big 12 Defensive team selection, and three-time Big 12 All-Tournament team honoree, Sims was named the 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year and set league single-season scoring records for points per game (28.2) and total points (1,054). She ranks No. 4 among the Big 12's all-time scorers with 2,533 points. Sims tallied 16 games with 30 or more points and registered four 40-plus point games including a career high 48 at West Virginia.
In addition to posting a four-year career record of 140-10 (.933), Sims guided Baylor to eight Big 12 Conference crowns, including four regular season titles and four league postseason championships, four NCAA Tournaments and the 2012 NCAA national championship. She was 67-3 (.957) in regular season Big 12 games during her career and her Lady Bear teams reached the Elite 8 in both 2014 and 2011, while advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2013.
The 5-8 Sims set a Baylor single season scoring record at 28.5 points per game and ranks No. 1 on the Baylor chart with 98 3-point field goals made. She finished her career atop the BU career charts in assists (641) and 3-point field goals made (258), is No. 2 in free throw percentage (.810), 3-point field goal percentage (.403), free throws (561) and games started (132) and ranked No. 3 all-time in steals (331), games played (145) and points (2,533). She earned her second World University Games gold medal and was named the tournament's most valuable player when the USA Basketball squad defeated Russia in the gold medal game of the 2013 World University Games in Russia. Sims became the first women's basketball two-time gold medalist for the USA at the event.
The Irving, Texas native has participated in Waco's Alzheimer Walk, helped pack meals for Feed My Starving Children and read to school children in various classrooms in the Waco area. She also delivered stuffed bears to local hospital pediatric wards as part of the team's annual Care Bear drive.
Petty started all 13 games during a record-setting junior season in which he led Baylor to the 2013 Big 12 championship and its first BCS bowl game. He was named All-American by Athlon (second team) and SI.com (honorable mention) while being awarded Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. He finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting. Petty established 17 school records in 2013, including nine single-season marks. He won the inaugural Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, was a finalist for the Manning Award and semifinalist for the Maxwell, Walter Camp Player of Year, and Davey O'Brien Awards. He was the national leader in yards-per-completion (16.80) and second nationally in passing efficiency (174.29) and points responsible for per-game (21.2) while leading the Big 12 in seven categories. For the season Petty totaled 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns with just three interceptions on 250-for-403 passing. He also ran for 209 yards and 14 scores.
Since his arrival at Baylor in the spring of 2010, Petty has been an active citizen in Waco and Central Texas. He has participated in Big Brothers/Big Sisters and speaks with youth groups around the state about the importance of staying in school, doing things the right way and sportsmanship. Petty leads a bible study for a group of 15 students at Baylor and participates in FCA. He traveled to Kenya on a mission trip with other Baylor student-athletes in May 2011.
The Midlothian, Texas native is a seven-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll Member and 2013 Academic All-Big 12 Second Team selection. He graduated in May 2013 with a degree in Health Science Studies and is now completing course work for a master's degree in Sport Management with a projected graduation date of December 2014.
Other female candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year included Christina Hillman (Iowa State), Chelsie Miller (Kansas), Petra Nidermayerova (K-State), Taylor Spears (Oklahoma), Tiffany Bias (Oklahoma State), Lorraine Ugen (TCU), Haley Eckerman (Texas), Jaelene Hinkle (Texas Tech) and Frances Silva (West Virginia).
Male nominees were Melvin Ejim (Iowa State), Michael Stigler (Kansas), Tyler Lockett (K-State), Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma), Chris Perry (Oklahoma State), Julien Brun (TCU), Ryan Crouser (Texas), Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) and Bryce Bohman (West Virginia).
Big 12 Athletes of the Year
|2013-14||Odyssey Sims, Baylor||Bryce Petty, Baylor|
|2012-13||Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma||Collin Klein, Kansas State|
|2011-12||Brittney Griner, Baylor||Robert Griffin III, Baylor|
|2010-11||Jessica Beard, Texas A&M||Taylor Jungmann, Texas|
|2009-10||Lisa Koll, Iowa State||Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska|
|2008-09||Destinee Hooker, Texas||Sam Bradford, Oklahoma|
|2007-08||Sarah Pavan, Nebraska||Chase Daniel, Missouri|
|2006-07||Sarah Pavan, Nebraska||Ben Askren, Missouri|
|2005-06||Cat Osterman, Texas||Vince Young, Texas|
|2004-05||Cat Osterman, Texas||Derrick Johnson, Texas|
|2003-04||Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State||Jason White, Oklahoma|
|2002-03||Cat Osterman, Texas||Nick Collison, Kansas|
|2001-02||Stacey Dales-Schuman, Oklahoma||Cael Sanderson, Iowa State|
|2000-01||Greichaly Cepero, Nebraska||Josh Heupel, Oklahoma|
|1999-00||Erin Aldrich, Texas||Charles Howell, Oklahoma State|
|1998-99||Suziann Reid, Texas||Ricky Williams, Texas|
|1997-99||Vera Ilyina, Texas||Grant Wistrom, Nebraska|
|1996-97||Nanceen Perry, Texas||Jacque Vaughn, Kansas|