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
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)