ATLANTA -- UConn junior Breanna Stewart was named the winner of the 2015 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T and, in doing so, becomes just the fourth woman to claim at least one Naismith Girl’s High School Player of the Year award and two Naismith Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year awards. Stewart won the Naismith Trophy in 2014 and also claimed the Naismith High School Trophy, the country’s top prep honor, in 2012. The other players to pull off that feat are former UConn players Diana Taurasi and Maya Moore, and Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw.
Stewart now sets her sights on becoming the second woman ever to win three college Naismith Trophies, following USC’s Cheryl Miller in 1984, 85 and 86. Bill Walton (UCLA, 1972, 73, 74) and Ralph Sampson (Virginia, 1981, 82, 83) each won three Naismith Trophies on the men’s side. UConn has won more Women’s Naismith Trophies than any other school – now with a total of nine.
Stewart was announced as the award winner from among a field of finalists that included Notre Dame junior Jewell Loyd, South Carolina junior Tiffany Mitchell, and Minnesota sophomore Amanda Zahui B.
Stewart was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy. Selections were based on individual performances throughout the 2014-15 college basketball season, and the fan vote, which accounted for 25 percent of this year’s total. This is the 12th year fans played a role in the selection process. The vote was tabulated by the certified public accounting firm Habif, Arogeti &Wynne, LLP, the largest tax, audit and business advisory firm headquartered in Georgia. Habif, Arogeti &Wynne is the 51st largest CPA firm in the nation and has been recognized as a 2014 "Best of the Best" firm by INSIDE Public Accounting.
“Breanna epitomizes greatness by achieving remarkable personal success, while being a solid teammate and team leader for UConn, and we congratulate her as the 2015 Naismith Trophy winner,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “The competition was so strong, and we salute the other three finalists for their accomplishments this season.”
“We’d like to congratulate all of this year’s finalists, whose individual and team successes have been inspiring to fans across the country – especially those that voted to select the winner,” said Jamie Kerr, director, AT&T Corporate Sponsorships. “By winning her second straight Naismith Trophy, Breanna Stewart joins a very elite group of college athletes, and we applaud her for all of her accomplishments.”
“Being selected as the winner of the Naismith Trophy is a tremendous honor and I am very happy for Stewie,” said UConn head coach Geno Auriemma. “To be able to repeat as the winner while playing at such a high level is not easy to do. The bigger the stage, the bigger Stewie performs and I think that's an indication of greatness. I'm happy for her and our team, and I think she deserves it. “