April 15, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – University of Connecticut sophomore Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) was named the Honda Sports Award winner for Basketball as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) on Tuesday.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Stewart becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. Stewart was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Kayla McBride (Notre Dame), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Odyssey Sims (Baylor) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland).
“It is such an honor to be selected as the winner of the Honda Award for women’s basketball,” said Stewart. “ I would like to thank the administrators for selecting me over a group of outstanding players and my coaches and teammates for helping me get to this point where I can be considered for such prestigious honors.”
Named the 2014 Associated Press, Naismith, USBWA, espnW and American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Stewart led Connecticut to an unprecedented ninth national championship and a 40-0 perfect season. The sophomore forward does some of her best work in the postseason after also collecting The American Tournament Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honor along with the NCAA Championship MOP award.
Stewart averaged 19.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the Huskies. She has scored over 1,000 career points in the third-fewest amount of career games (63) in UConn history. In 40 wins, she scored in double-figures in 37 games and scored 20+ points on 21 different occasions.
“I am very happy for Breanna,” stated head coach Geno Auriemma. “She worked extremely hard during the offseason, and during the season, to improve on a great freshman year. It is truly rewarding to see hard work pay off for someone and no one is more deserving of this tremendous honor than Breanna Stewart.”
This is Connecticut's second Honda Sport Award winner this year as Marie Elena Bolles captured the honor in Field Hockey after leading UConn to its first National title this year and a school-record third so far in the academic year.
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup award presented in June.
Basketball has produced the most Honda Cup award winners with 15 student-athletes in the sport winning the prestigious honor. Most recently Brittney Griner of Baylor earned the honor in 2012 preceded by Connecticut's Maya Moore who had back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.7 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.