Barber accepted the award at the third annual WBCA Awards Show on April 8 in New Orleans, held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women's Final Four®. “Obviously this is a huge accomplishment that says a lot about our program and even more about Sam as a person,” said Pointers head coach Shirley Egner. “To be named the National Player of the Year is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Her competitive spirit and dedication to improving her skill set every off season allowed our team to experience success at an incredibly high level the past three years."
“This was a complete surprise,” said Barber of winning the award. “The surprises started with my mom showing up at the hotel today and finished with them calling my name for the award. Coach [Egner] had to push me to go on stage because I was in shock. “This is just so amazing. I'm so thankful to my coaches, family and teammates. Without them, this wouldn't have been possible.”
A WBCA First Team All-American, Barber earned back-to-back Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Player of the Year awards and led the Pointers to a 24-6 overall record and the program's sixth straight conference tournament title in 2013. The First Team D3hoops.com All-Central Region honoree started all 30 games for the Pointers, averaging a team-high 19.1 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds. She connected on 43.6 percent of her shots from 3-point range, 49.1 percent of her field goals and 78.3 percent from the free-throw line. She also recorded 57 steals, 43 assists and 32 blocked shots.
A transfer from Winona State, Barber spent three seasons in a Pointers uniform, collecting 1,238 points at UWSP, finishing her collegiate career with 1,329 total points. She played in 85 career games at UWSP, starting 57, and averaged 24.2 minutes per appearance. She had a career shooting percentage of .468 and shot .431 from 3-point range.
Barber is the second player in program history to earn the award, joining Amanda Nechuta who won the award following the 2005 season. “For our program to have two players receive this award in the past eight years speaks to the caliber of student-athlete that make up the UWSP women's basketball family,” said Egner.