OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – First-team All-American Stefanie Dolson of undefeated and No. 1-ranked Connecticut has been selected as the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I women’s basketball.

UConn center Stefanie Dolson drives to the basket.The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I women’s basketball coaches, national basketball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I women’s basketball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

“I’m extremely honored and I know my family will be so proud and excited,” Dolson said. “This award is special because it recognizes more than just basketball and celebrates what student-athletes also do in the classroom and in the community. I take a lot of pride in being a leader on this team, so I’m very happy to be recognized.”

Dolson is majoring in communication science and plans to graduate in May. She has been named to the Director of Athletics Honor Roll four times. Over her college career, Dolson and her team have visited the Connecticut Children’s Hospital and participated in the Walk for Autism. She played a key role in helping raise more than $30,000 for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

“I don’t think there is a better representative of what a student-athlete and person should be than Stefanie,” head coach Geno Auriemma said. “I’ve coached at UConn for many years and have coached great players and people. But over the last four years, Stefanie has been as good a teammate, player and representative of the university as anyone could ever hope someone could be. I’m sure there are other people as deserving of this award, but I can’t think of anybody who meets all the criteria that this award stands for better than Stef.”

Named a two-time USBWA All-American and 2014 AP Second Team All-American, Dolson is also a two-time, first-team American Athletic all-conference selection and a four-time member of the conference all-tournament team.  She is fourth in Connecticut history in field goal percentage and blocked shots. She is one of only five players in Connecticut history to reach 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.  She is one of only three Huskies all-time to register a triple-double.

“Stefanie grew into a leadership role her junior season despite injuries late last season during UConn’s tournament run,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “She finishes her career as one of the most outstanding players on a team that has achieved excellence year in and year out.”For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-Americans

Heather Butler, Tennessee-Martin
Hallie Christofferson, Iowa State
Stefanie Dolson, Connecticut
Jordan Hooper, Nebraska
Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford

Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-Americans

Jerica Coley, Florida International
Natasha Howard, Florida State
Maggie Lucas, Penn State
Haley Peters, Duke
Odyssey Sims, Baylor

photo credit: cloe poisson – hartford courant