Jan. 3, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mel Greenberg
215-815-5943
Iowa F/C leads the nation in double-doubles
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GUSTAFSON, PARKER ARE USBWA WOMEN'S
NATIONAL, FRESHMAN PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – For the season's fifth U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week and the organization's women's freshman player honor, Iowa junior forward/center Megan Gustafson is national player while Penn center Eleah Parker has been tabbed for the freshman citation after each were involved in helping their teams go unbeaten in games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 31.

The USBWA weekly honors for Division I women's players will be handed out each Tuesday this season.

As the Big Ten Conference player and Ivy League freshman weekly winners, both were nominated for the awards, which were chosen by Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball from a pair of lists of Division I conference players and freshmen of the week.

Gustafson, a 6-3 junior forward-center from Port Wing, Wis., averaged 24.0 points, 13.5 rebounds 3.5 blocks, and shot 61.9 percent from the field and 22-of-22 foul shots in a pair of opening wins at the start of conference play over Wisconsin and then-No. 21 Michigan. She leads Division I with 14 double-doubles.

Parker, a 6-4 center from Charlotte, N.C., who picked up her third straight freshman of the week honor from the Ivy League, averaged 17.0 points and seven rebounds while blocking five shots over two games as the Quakers won NJIT's holiday tournament beating VCU and the host Highlanders with Parker being named the tournament's MVP.

Since the 1987-88 season, the USBWA has named a women’s National Player of the Year. For the 2012-13 season, the national and weekly player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale. At the conclusion of the regular season, the USBWA will name finalists for the award, which is voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2018 Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards event in Columbus, Ohio, site of the 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

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. It has selected a women's All-America team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

2017-18 USBWA Women's National Players of the Week
Week ending Dec. 3: Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (National); Satou Sabally, Oregon (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 10: Jaime Nared, Tennessee (National); Braxtin Miller, Oklahoma State (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 17: Kitija Laksa, South Florida (National); Raneem Elgedawy, Western Kentucky (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 24: Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State (National); Kianni Smith, California (Freshman)
Week ending Dec. 31: Megan Gustafson, Iowa (National); Eleah Parker, Penn (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 7: Lashann Higgs, Texas (National); Bre Cavanaugh, Fordham (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 14: Asia Durr, Lousiville (National); Hailey Brown, Michigan (Freshman)
Week ending Jan. 21: Arike Ogunbowale, Notre Dame (National); Eleah Parker, Penn (Freshman)