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Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi Named 2016 USA Basketball Female Athlete Of The Year

  • Date:
    Dec 14, 2016


 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year
Award History


Diana Taurasi


Chamique Holdsclaw


A’ja Wilson


Teresa Edwards


Maya Moore


Sylvia Crawley


Breanna Stewart


Dawn Staley


Diana Taurasi


Lisa Leslie


Breanna Stewart


Katrina McClain


Diana Taurasi


Ruthie Bolton


Tina Charles


Teresa Edwards


Katie Smith


Venus Lacey


Candice Wiggins


Katrina McClain


Diana Taurasi


Teresa Edwards


Crystal Langhorne


Cheryl Miller


Dawn Staley


Jennifer Gillom


Seimone Augustus


Cheryl Miller


Lisa Leslie


Lynette Woodard


Ayana Walker


*Cindy Noble &
 LaTaunya Pollard


Teresa Edwards


Natalie Williams


Denise Curry


Lisa Leslie


Carol Blazejowski


In honor of her impressive performance at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and with the USA Basketball Women’s National Team this past summer, Diana Taurasi earned an unprecedented fourth USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year award. Taurasi previously earned the honor in 2006, 2010 and 2012.

“I have been really lucky to learn and play with the best in the game,” Taurasi said. “It makes one go to a different level.”

At the 2016 Olympics from Aug. 6-20 in Rio de Janeiro, Taurasi started in all eight wins and averaged a team-best 15.6 points to go with 3.3 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game to help the USA to a sixth-straight Olympic gold medal.

“Diana has been an important member of USA Basketball teams since she first played on a U18 team in 2000, and it is no surprise that she is being honored as the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year for an incredible fourth time” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director. “In 2016, she was one of three captains and a true team leader on and off the court. We are grateful for her commitment.”

This year marks the 37th time USA Basketball has presented its Female Athlete of the Year award, which was established in 1980 to recognize a USA Basketball athlete who, during the year of the award, made a significant impact on the success of her team’s performance.

“When you think about how impactful she was right from the beginning of the tournament it’s unbelievable,” said Geno Auriemma, USA Women’s National Team and University of Connecticut head coach, as well as a 2016 USA Basketball Co-National Coach of the Year. “When you have a player that can single-handedly put the team in a position to win right from the opening tip, you can’t overestimate how much confidence every other player on the team has, because they know what Diana can do. I know everyone on the team felt that way, and D always comes up big in the biggest moment. That was certainly a big moment, and nobody was bigger than her.”

Taurasi is one of five players in U.S. women’s Olympic history with four gold medals, and she is tied with Tamika Catchings, Teresa Edwards and Lisa Leslie with a total of six gold medals in Olympic and World Championship play, trailing only Sue Bird’s total of seven combined gold medals.

During the 2016 Olympics, she shot 56.9 percent from the field (41-72 FGs), 57.9 percent from 3-point (33-57 3pt FGs) and 90.9 percent from the free throw line (10-11 FTs).

She tied for the tournament single-game high in 3-pointers made with six and tied for 3-point attempts with 10 against Serbia on Aug. 10. Also, she shot a tournament second-best 4-of-5 from 3-point (.800) against Canada on Aug. 12.

Among all participants in the 12-team field, she ranked first in 3-point attempts (57) and 3-point makes (33); fourth in points scored (125) and 3-point field goal percentage (.579); eighth in points averaged (15.6); ninth in field goal percentage (.569); and tied for ninth in free throw percentage (.909)

In the USA’s first game against Senegal on Aug. 7, Taurasi tied a U.S. Olympic women’s record with five 3-pointers made and finished with 15 points. She then re-set the U.S. Olympic Women’s record for 3s made with six and set a record for 3s attempted with 10 against Serbia on Aug. 10 to go with 25 points and six assists.

Additionally, she tied for a team-high with 12 points against Canada on Aug. 12; tied for a team high with 19 points against Japan in the quarterfinals on Aug. 16; led the USA with 18 points to go with four assists against France in the semifinals on Aug. 18; and tied for a team-best with 17 points against Spain in the gold medal game.

In the U.S. women’s Olympic single-competition record book, she holds the record for 3-pointers made (33); and in the U.S. women’s Olympic career record book, she is tied with Tamika Catchings, Teresa Edwards and Lisa Leslie for most games played (32) and is second for points scored (379), which ranks fourth among all-time women’s Olympic competitors worldwide.

Taurasi also helped the USA to a 4-0 exhibition record, with wins over the USA Select Team (88-84 on July 25), France (84-62 on July 27), Canada (83-43 on July 29) and Australia (104-89 on July 31). She started in all four of those games and averaged 12.8 ppg., 3.0 apg. and 2.5 rpg. in 25.8 mpg.

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