Feb. 13, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mel Greenberg
215-815-5943
USF guard, Minnesota guard/forward honored by USBWA
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LAKSA, PITTS ARE USBWA WOMEN'S
NATIONAL, FRESHMAN PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – For the season's 11th U.S. Basketball Writers Association Ann Meyers Drysdale Women's National Player of the Week and the organization's women's freshman player honor, South Florida guard Kitija Laksa is national player while Minnesota guard/forward Destiny Pitts has been tabbed for the freshman citation after each were involved in helping their teams go unbeaten in games ending the week of Sunday, Feb. 11.

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

As the American Athletic Conference player and Big Ten 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 players of the week.

Laksa, a 6-0 junior from Riga, Latvia, gained her second USBWA honor this season as she tied The American individual game record with a career-high 41 points – including eight three-pointers in an 84-65 win over then-No.13 Ohio State – and scored 25 against East Carolina for a two-game average 33 points. She shot 25–for-44 from the field for 56.8 percent and 13-for-24 on three-point attempts for 54.2 percent to earn the Bulls a return to The Associated Press weekly women’s rankings.

Pitts, a 5-10 freshman from Detroit, averaged 17.5 points per game and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of wins over Purdue and Penn State, as Minnesota claimed fourth in the current conference standings. She scored 13 points in the first quarter at Purdue.

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)
Week ending Jan. 28: Kaila Charles, Maryland (National); Anna Jones, Middle Tennessee (Freshman)
Week ending Feb. 4: Brittany McPhee, Stanford (National); Ana Llanusa, Oklahoma (Freshman)
Week ending Feb. 4: Kitija Laksa, South Florida (National); Destiny Pitts, Minnesota (Freshman)
Week ending Feb. 11: Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn (National); Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, Georgia Mason (Freshman)