Hartford Courant's Adams wins 2024 Rising Star Award

INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA)Emily Adams of the Hartford Courant, who has covered two of the most successful women’s college basketball programs in the nation, has been named a winner of the 2024 Rising Star Award by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Emily AdamsAdams will be honored Friday at the USBWA Awards Brunch at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Cleveland. The program will take place at 10 a.m. at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Tower, Salons F-G.

Adams joins John Fanta of Fox Sports, the Rising Star winner covering men’s basketball, who will be honored on April 8 at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Glendale, Arizona.

For the past three months, Adams has covered the University of Connecticut women’s program and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. She came to the Courant from The Greenville News, part of the USA TODAY South region, where she covered South Carolina women’s basketball and football. 

The Rising Star Award, created in 2010, recognizes journalistic excellence by reporters who are under 30 years of age. Starting in 2022, awards have been presented for coverage of men’s and women’s basketball. Previous winners include Dan Wolken of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal (now of USA TODAY), Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com, Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, Mirin Fader of The Ringer, and Alexa Philippou, who preceded Adams on the Connecticut women’s beat at the Courant before moving to ESPN.com.

“I’m humbled to be part of the incredible legacy of this award with so many past winners that I have read and looked up to for years,” Adams said. “I feel incredibly lucky to be covering women’s basketball at such a pivotal moment for the sport, and I’m so grateful to the USBWA for their recognition.”

Adams earned three APSE top-10 awards for her coverage of the Gamecocks and was named a finalist for South Carolina Sportswriter of the Year in 2022 by the National Sports Media Association. She graduated with a degree in journalism from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College in 2021. She began her career as the high school sports reporter for the Knoxville News Sentinel.

“In such a short time, Emily’s work has helped define a transformative moment in the history of women’s college basketball,” said USBWA executive director Malcolm Moran. “She has successfully taken on the challenge of covering Dawn Staley and Geno Auriemma, two of the most compelling personalities in all of college basketball. If it happens that Connecticut and South Carolina play for a national championship, a lot of reporters in Cleveland are going to be rewriting her work this weekend.”

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With more than 800 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. The USBWA has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact Moran at malcolm@usbwa.com.

2010: Dan Wolken, Memphis Commercial-Appeal
2011: Kevin Armstrong, New York Daily News
2012: Steve Yanda, Washington Post
2013: Myron Medcalf, ESPN.com
2014: Eamonn Brennan, ESPN.com
2015: Michael Cohen, Memphis Commercial-Appeal
2016: Laura Keeley, Raleigh News & Observer
2017: David Gardner, Sports Illustrated
2018: Nicole Auerbach, The Athletic
2019: Sam Vecenie, The Athletic
2020: Chris Heady, Omaha World-Herald
2021: Mirin Fader, The Ringer
2022: Bennett Durando, Montgomery Advertiser; Alexa Philippou, Hartford Courant
2023: Cora Hall, Knoxville News Sentinel; Joel Lorenzi, Omaha World Herald
2024: Emily Adams, Hartford Courant; John Fanta, FOX Sports