Today rising UConn star and All-American candidate So. F Breanna Stewart (North Syracuse, NY) was named the 2013 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. This past summer, Stewart won her fifth gold medal with USA Basketball at the FIBA U19 World Championship and participated in the USA Basketball Women’s National Team mini-camp in October. In leading the USA to a 9-0 record and gold medal at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship from July 18-28 in Lithuania, Stewart was named MVP of the 16-team tournament after starting in all nine games and averaging team-bests of 16.9 points and 24.7 minutes per game while adding 6.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.2 assists per game. She shot 50.9 percent from the field (56-110 FGs), 58.3 percent from 3-point (14-24 3-pt FGs) and 89.7 percent from the free throw line (26-29 FTs).
Having also won a gold medal at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship, Stewart became one of just three U.S. female athletes to have played on two USA U19 World Championship Teams. Stewart also earned the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year honor in 2011 and she joins a prestigious group of athletes who have earned the honor more than once, including Teresa Edwards (2000, 1996, 1990, 1987), Lisa Leslie (2002, 1998, 1993), Cheryl Miller (1984, 1986), Dawn Staley (2004, 1994), and former UConn great Diana Taurasi (2006, 2010, 2012). For the 5th straight year and 6 of the last 8 years, the award has gone to a future, current, or former UConn Husky with Taurasi winning in 2006, 2010, and 2012, former UConn star Tina Charles winning in 2009, and Stewart also winning in 2011.
“USA Basketball is very proud to honor Breanna as our 2013 Female Athlete of the Year,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director. “She not only is an incredible basketball talent, as evidenced by her U19 world championship MVP selection, but she also is a tremendous team leader, and we are very grateful for her dedication and commitment.”
“It’s a great honor,” said Stewart, “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.”
"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,” said Katie Meier, USA U19 and University of Miami head coach.