BREANNA STEWART NAMED 2018 USA BASKETBALL FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
A three-time recipient of the award, Stewart has been recognized for her contributions to USA Basketball at each stage of her career
SEATTLE – Reigning FIBA World Cup MVP Breanna Stewart was honored as the 2018 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, the organization announced today. She previously earned the distinction in 2011 and 2013.
“Breanna has been an important part of our USA Basketball family for many years, and it was impressive this past September to watch her perform with such success at the World Cup,” said USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley. “We are very grateful for her loyalty and dedication, and we are proud to celebrate the tremendous year she had in 2018.”
“It’s really an honor,” Stewart said. “Each time that I’ve won has had its own special meaning, its own special place. This one is special, because I was in a different position than I was with the other ones. I was playing with a lot of younger players and had to perform really well and be at my best at the World Cup.
Just days removed from winning the WNBA Championship and Finals MVP honors with the Seattle Storm, Stewart averaged 16.3 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game for the gold medal-winning 2018 FIBA World Cup team coached by Dawn Staley. Stewart started all six games and played a team-high 26.8 minutes per game.
“Stewie played each and every game with all her heart,” said Staley, the 2018 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. “She probably played more minutes than I should have given her, but she was that good. It was hard to keep her off the floor. What’s always telling about a player like Stewie is although she’s tired, she never asks to come out of a game. She always plays through things. She’s impactful on the floor. She is always sacrificing for the sake of the team. Even when she’s dog tired, she’s fighting through it.”
“It wasn’t a team that had a lot of time together, and we didn’t have a lot of time to work with coach [Dawn] Staley in putting the pieces together,” added Stewart.
Stewart joins her USA Basketball teammate Diana Taurasi (4), Teresa Edwards (4) and Lisa Leslie (3) as the only players to earn the honor on at least three occasions. USA Basketball has presented its Female Athlete of the Year award annually since 1980.
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