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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Diana Taurasi honored by USA Basketball

Former UConn star Diana Taurasi was named the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, the third time she has received the award.

Here is the release from USA Basketball

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 9, 2013)  -- A three-time Olympic gold medalist who helped lead the USA women to a fifth-straight Olympic gold medal as well as an undefeated exhibition schedule in 2012, Diana Taurasi  (Phoenix Mercury) today was named the 2012 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.

"Twelve years ago I wore my first USA jersey, and the feeling of honor and excitement never diminishes," said Taurasi, who also earned USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year award in 2010 and 2006. "I had the opportunity to learn from the best, play with the best and be coached by the best. This honor is very special because it is in recognition of everyone who has played for our county."

Taurasi, who was named a tri-captain of the U.S. Olympic squad, started in all eight Olympic wins and averaged a team-high 12.4 points per game to go with 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest in the 2012 London Olympics. She also shot 45.5 percent from the field and team-bests of 42.9 percent from 3-point and 96.0 percent from the free throw line.

"I think Diana was absolutely spectacular as a leader on and off the court," said Geno Auriemma , head coach of the 2009-12 USA Women's National Team and a co-recipient of the 2012 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year Award. "I'm constantly amazed by her will to win, her drive and how much she makes everyone around her better. It was a great experience for me to get to coach her again. I enjoyed every minute of it. Winning the gold medal, and her playing such a big part in it, put a real exclamation point on the whole summer."

Taurasi also averaged 10.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game to help the USA Women's National Team to a 5-0 exhibition mark with friendly wins over China, Brazil, Great Britain, Croatia and Turkey in 2012.

"USA Basketball is very proud to celebrate Diana's accomplishments in 2012, and we are grateful for all that she has done as a part of USA Basketball," said  Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO. "In capturing her third Olympic gold medal she was incredible to watch on the court, and she was an absolute leader as well. Diana is one of the reasons the USA Women's National Team has maintained such excellence and captured five straight Olympic gold medals."


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