ATLANTA (March 2, 2020) — Longtime communications professional Maria M. Cornelius, author of the award-winning book, The Final Season: The Perseverance of Pat Summitt, is the recipient of the 2020 WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today.
Named after Mel Greenberg, the Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter who founded the Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll, the award is presented annually to a member of the media or sports communications professional who has best displayed a commitment to women’s basketball and to advancing the role of the media in the women’s game. Greenberg, the preeminent name in women’s basketball coverage, received the inaugural award in 1991.
“I am pleased to announce Maria Cornelius as this year’s recipient of the WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle M. Donehew. “Maria has shown exceptional dedication to our sport. As a member of the media she is entrusted to preserve, promote and protect the priceless stories that make up our game’s historical record. The WBCA salutes Maria for her contribution of time and talent to advance women’s basketball.”
Cornelius, a writer and editor for Moxley Carmichael public relations and marketing firm in Knoxville, Tennessee, has covered Tennessee women’s basketball for the last 22 years. She wrote The Final Season: The Perseverance of Pat Summitt, which chronicles the last season of the late legendary Tennessee head coach in 2011-12 and was published by The University of Tennessee Press in 2016. She has a second book contract with UT Press to publish a collection of stories about Summitt. Before joining the team at Moxley Carmichael, Cornelius worked for 14 years at the Knoxville News Sentinel, advancing from reporter to assistant managing editor. Cornelius is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Association for Women in Sports Media.
Selected by past recipients of the award, candidates for the Mel Greenberg Media Award must have made a positive impact on the growth and public exposure — regional or national — of women’s basketball, been involved in the media exposure of the sport for a minimum of five years, and should be a media ambassador for the women’s game.
Visit www.wbca.org/recognize/ to see a list of past recipients.
About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit www.WBCA.org for more details about the Association.
Note: News release issued by the WBCA (https://wbca.org/about/press-releases/author-sportswriter-maria-cornelius-receives-2020-wbca-mel-greenberg-media).