NASHVILLE – University of Connecticut women’s basketball team standout Breanna Stewart has been selected as the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association, as announced by the USBWA in a press conference at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday. A Husky has now won the USBWA National Player of the Year Award seven times, including four times in the last six years.
Stewart becomes only the second UConn sophomore to win the honor along with Maya Moore in 2009. The North Syracuse, N.Y. native was unable to attend the official press conference as she and the Huskies were preparing for Sunday’s national semifinal contest against Stanford. Tip is scheduled for approximately 9 p.m. EDT and the contest will be televised by ESPN. UConn director of athletics Warde Manuel accepted the honor on Stewart’s behalf.
The winner of the Associated Press and espnW National Player of the Year awards, Stewart leads the Huskies with 19.4 points per game and ranks second on the UConn roster in rebounding with 8.1 boards per contest. Her 738 points this season are fourth most in program history and represent the second highest total by a sophomore since Moore netted 754 in 2009-10. Stewart not only delivers on the offensive end, but the 6-4 forward leads the squad with 106 blocks on the season, helping UConn set a new NCAA single-season team record for rejections with 313.
Among her numerous career achievements this season, Stewart registered the eighth-highest single-game point total by a Husky in program history when she dropped 37 on Temple in January. She has logged 11 double-doubles this season and scored more than 20 points in 20 games. Opponents have held Stewart below double digits in just two games this season. On Feb. 16, Stewart recorded UConn’s first basket against USF to join UConn’s 1,000 point club as the second-fastest Husky to reach the milestone behind Moore. She is just the fifth Husky to achieve the honor as a sophomore.
The American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year, Stewart went on to lock up Most Outstanding Player in the American Tournament by averaging 21.3 points and 7.0 rebounds in UConn’s run to the inaugural championship. The Syracuse native was named a USBWA All-American earlier this week along with fellow New Yorkers Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley. Stewart is also a finalist for the Wade Trophy, the Wooden Award, and the Naismith Trophy.
All-Time USBWA National Players of the Year
1988 – Sue Wicks, Rutgers
1989 – Clarissa Davis, Texas
1990 – Jennifer Azzi, Stanford
1991 – Dawn Staley, Virginia
1992 – Dawn Staley, Virginia
1993 – Sheryl Swoopes, Texas Tech
1994 – Lisa Leslie, USC
1995 – Rebecca Lobo, UConn
1996 – Saudia Roundtree, Georgia
1997 – Kate Starbird, Stanford
1998 – Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
1999 – Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
2000 – Tamika Catchings, Tennessee
2001 – Ruth Riley, Notre Dame
2002 – Sue Brid, UConn
2003 – Diana Taurasi, UConn
2004 – Alana Beard, Duke
2005 – Seimone Augustus, LSU
2006 – Ivory Latta, North Carolina
2007 – Candace Parker, Tennessee
2008 – Candace Parker, Tennessee
2009 – Maya Moore, UConn
2010 – Tina Charles, UConn
2011 – Maya Moore, UConn
2012 – Brittney Griner, Baylor
2013 – Brittney Griner, Baylor
2014 – Breanna Stewart, UConn