TAMPA, Fla. (USBWA) – University of Connecticut
6-4 junior forward Breanna Stewart joined five
former women's greats as a two-time winners of the Ann Meyers Drysdale
Award as national player of the year named by the
U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Debbie Corum, senior associate director of athletics for the
Huskies, accepted the award for Stewart in the Amalie Arena as UConn,
the two-time defending NCAA champion, prepared to meet Maryland
in one of the national semifinal games Sunday night.
The award, first handed out in 1987-88 by the USBWA, began being
named for former UCLA four-time All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale
The other two-time winners were former Virginia star Dawn Staley
(1991, '92), who returned to the Women's Final Four Sunday for the
first time since her playing days as the coach of South Carolina,
which was to meet Notre Dame in the other game; Tennessee's Chamique
Holdsclaw (1998, '99) and Candace Parker (2007, '08), UConn's Maya
Moore 2009, '10), and Baylor's Brittney Griner (2012, '13).
UConn and Tennessee now each have had a pair of USBWA multiple
winners of the award but Stewart could return next year for
a record third honor when the Women's Final Four is held in Indianapolis.
Tennessee's Tamika Catchings (2000) also won the award while UConn
has had Rebecca Lobo (1995), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003),
and Tina Charles (2010) as winners for an overall total of seven
players and nine awards.
Stewart appears on the way to a postseason sweep, having won
the Wade Trophy for the first time Saturday while repeating as the
Associated Press women's player. Still to be announced is the Naismith
Since her last USBWA honor, Stewart was a member of the Gold
Medal USA World Champion squad as the only collegian on a roster
field with WNBA superstars.
Depending on the outcome here, Stewart, a native of North Syracuse,
also has a chance to become the first women's player to win four
straight NCAA Division I women's national basketball titles.
Her coach Geno Auriemma, who has won the USBWA women's coach
honor a record four times, says his star post player is like a car
that runs better than others of similar construction describing
how Stewart rises to the occasion at key moments.
"She's just wired differently," Auriemma, who was the USA World
Championship coach, said.
Following a pedestrian freshman season, Stewart carried the Huskies
to the 2013 championship, winning most outstanding player honors,
and then repeated the award last season.
This season, Stewart has averaged 17.6 points per game on
a team loaded and balanced with superior talent – teammates Kaleena
Mosqueda-Lewis and Moriah Jefferson joined her as USBWA All-Americans
– and also averaged 7.6 rebounds while blocking 96 shots and grabbing
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. For more information on the
USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch
ANN MEYERS DRYSDALE AWARD WINNERS (USBWA PLAYER OF THE
1988 Sue Wicks, Rutgers
1989 Clarissa Davis, Texas
1990 Jennifer Azzi, Stanford
1991 Dawn Staley, Virginia
1992 Dawn Staley, Virginia
1993 Sheryl Swoopes, Texas
1994 Lisa Leslie, USC
1995 Rebecca Lobo,
1996 Saudia Roundtree, Georgia
Kate Starbird, Stanford
1998 Chamique Holdsclaw,
1999 Chamique Holdsclaw, Tennessee
Tamika Catchings, Tennessee
2001 Ruth Riley, Notre
2002 Sue Bird, Connecticut
2003 Diana Taurasi, Connecticut
2004 Alana Beard, Duke
2005 Seimone Augustus, LSU
2006 Ivory Latta, North Carolina
2007 Candace Parker,
2008 Candace Parker, Tennessee
Maya Moore, Connecticut
2010 Tina Charles, Connecticut
2011 Maya Moore, Connecticut
2012 Brittney Griner,
2013 Brittney Griner, Baylor
2015 Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
The award was named in honor of Ann Meyers Drysdale