From the WBCA:
TAMPA BAY (April 6, 2015) – Breanna Stewart of the University of Connecticut is the winner of the 2015 Wade Trophy, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced today during Super Saturday events. The prestigious award, regarded as “The Heisman of Women’s Basketball,” is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the WBCA and SHAPE America – the Society of Health and Physical Educators.
“On behalf of the WBCA and SHAPE America, I am honored to present women’s basketball’s highest honor, the Wade Trophy, to Breanna,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “Breanna had a remarkable season and with her efforts, the game of women’s basketball was elevated to an exciting new level. Each contest showcased her talent to better her teammates, represent the University of Connecticut with class, captivate fans, and inspire the next generation of student-athletes.”
Stewart the Albany Regional’s Most Outstanding Player and American Athletic Conference Player of the Year is 11th on Connecticut’s all-time scoring list with 1,927 career points. The North Syracuse, N.Y. native is fifth in Husky history with 280 career blocks. Stewart is averaging 17.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 54 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. The junior forward is also leading the way defensively for the Huskies with 2.6 blocks and 1.5 steals per game. The two-time WBCA All-American has helped guide the Huskies to the nation’s top ranking in several categories including scoring offense (90.2), scoring defense (48.2), field-goal percentage (54.3), three-point field goal percentage (40.9), assists per game (21.6) and blocked shots per game (8.0).
The Wade Trophy, now in its 38th year, is named after the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. The award debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women’s national player of the year award in college basketball.
The first recipient of the Wade Trophy was Carol Blazejowski of Montclair State in 1978. Other Wade Trophy/NCAA Division I Player of the Year recipients include many standouts such as Nancy Lieberman (1979 & 1980), Teresa Weatherspoon (1988), DeLisha Milton-Jones (1997), Candace Parker (2007), Ticha Penicheiro (1998), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), Seimone Augustus (2005 & 2006), Maya Moore (2009-2011) and Brittney Griner (2012 & 2013).
The Wade Trophy Coalition was established in June 2000 when the WBCA partnered with The National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS), now known as the Society of Health and Physical Educators, doing business as SHAPE America. For the past 11 years the two have worked together to present The Wade Trophy player of the year award. A committee composed of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States selects the winner.