UConn star sophomore Breanna Stewart has been named the 2013 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, USA Basketball announced today. She was also honored by the organization as the 2011 Female Athlete of the Year.
Stewart was named the Most Valuable Player and averaged a team-high 16.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.7 steals and 24.7 minutes in leading the U.S. to its fifth straight gold medal at the FIBA U-19 World Championship in Lithuania last July. She also set a team-record by scoring 152 points in nine games, breaking the previous record of 147 set by former UConn great Maya Moore in 2007.
Stewart, who participated in the USA Basketball Women’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas in October, is one of just three U.S. female athletes that have played on two U.S. U-19 World Championship Teams.
“It’s a great honor,’’ Stewart said. “I love competing with USA Basketball and have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to do that for the last several years. I’m so happy and thankful that USA Basketball has given me all the opportunities it has to travel abroad and learn a lot.’’
Stewart is the youngest repeat recipient of the award. She is the sixth player that has earned the award more than once, joining Teresa Edwards (1987, 1990, 1996, 2000), Lisa Leslie (1993, 1998, 2002), Cheryl Miller (1984, 1986), Dawn Staley (1994, 2004) and Diana Taurasi (2006, 2010, 2012).
“Breanna is an amazing talent who is respectful of her opportunities, and at the same time, she will take over every big-time ball game she is a part of,’’ U.S. U-19 and Miami head coach Katie Meier said.
Said USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director Jim Tooley: “USA Basketball is very proud to honor Breanna as our 2013 Female Athlete of the Year. She not only is an incredible basketball talent, as evidenced by her U-19 World Championship MVP selection, but she also is a tremendous team leader, and we are very grateful for her dedication and commitment.’’