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Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers Named USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year

  • Date:
    Dec 10, 2019

Following her participation in four USA Basketball events in 2019, including being named tournament MVP while helping to lead the USA to a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup, Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.) today was named the 2019 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.

Bueckers also suited up for the USA 3x3 team that finished 3-1 in the inaugural World Beach Games from Oct. 13-16 in Doha, Qatar; she led her team to a second place finish at the 2019 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship; and she took part in the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team training camp that included the 2019 NCAA Next Generation Event at the NCAA Final Four in Tampa, Florida.

“It means a lot,” Bueckers said. “When Carol (Callan) called me and told me, I was kind of amazed, seeing all of the people who have won it before. Me being one of the youngest to get it, it just means a lot to me. To be able to represent my country, alone, and then to get this award, it meant even more.”

USA Basketball has presented its Female Athlete of the Year award annually since 1980. 

“In 2019, Paige represented the best of USA Basketball in winning gold medals and in her dedication to representing her country at multiple events ,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball chief executive officer. “She not only helped USA Basketball win the FIBA U19 World Cup, she was recognized as the most valuable player at that tournament, which is further testament to the tremendous performances she turned in this past year.”

Bueckers started in all seven games at the FIBA U19 World Cup, and on her way to being named MVP, averaged a tournament best 5.4 assists per game to go along with 11.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

“I really appreciated her competitiveness, how hard she competes,” said Jeff Walz, the head coach of the 2019 USA U19 team and a 2019 USA Basketball Co-National Coach of the Year. “She’s definitely a special talent. She is able to score in all three phases of the game. She hits 3s, has a pull-up jump shot and can get to the rim. But, I just appreciate how she competes. She definitely has that competitive fire within her.”

USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year
Award Winners

2019 Paige Bueckers
1999
Natalie Williams

2018

Breanna Stewart

1998

Lisa Leslie

2017

Janelle Bailey

1997

Chamique Holdsclaw

2016

Diana Taurasi

1996

Teresa Edwards

2015

A’ja Wilson

1995

Sylvia Crawley

2014

Maya Moore

1994

Dawn Staley

2013

Breanna Stewart

1993

Lisa Leslie

2012

Diana Taurasi

1992

Katrina McClain

2011

Breanna Stewart

1991

Ruthie Bolton

2010

Diana Taurasi

1990

Teresa Edwards

2009

Tina Charles

1989

Venus Lacy

2008

Katie Smith

1988

Katrina McClain

2007

Candice Wiggins

1987

Teresa Edwards

2006

Diana Taurasi

1986

Cheryl Miller

2005

Crystal Langhorne

1985

Jennifer Gillom

2004

Dawn Staley

1984

Cheryl Miller

2003

Seimone Augustus

1983

Lynette Woodard

2002

Lisa Leslie

1982

Cindy Noble &
LaTaunya Pollard

2001

Ayana Walker

1981

Denise Curry

2000

Teresa Edwards

1980

Carol Blazejowski

Bueckers finished in double-digit scoring in five of the USA’s seven games, including: 11 points and six assists against Australia on July 20; seven assists against South Korea on July 21; 13 points and six assists against Hungary on July 23; 15 points, five assists and five steals versus Germany on July 24; 13 points and seven assists against Belgium in the semifinals on July 27; and a team-high 17 points and five assists in the overtime gold medal win over Australia.

At the 2019 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Championship, she helped her team, Quest, to a 6-2 record and runner-up finish.

The 2018 and 2019 Gatorade State Player of the Year and Naismith and MaxPreps All-America first team member, Bueckers averaged 24.4 points and 5.5 assists per game to lead her high school team to the 2019 Minnesota 4A state title and a 32-0 record.

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