116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - This time, Caitlin Clark is on top.
Above Paige Bueckers. Above all other backcourt players in women's college basketball.
Clark's postseason awards haul got a lot more hefty Friday, when it was announced that she was the 2021 recipient of the Dawn Staley Award, which goes to the nation's top guard.
'It's always a special day when we give out the Dawn Staley Award, but I absolutely love that this year it's going to be a freshman because it means fans of our game get to watch Caitlin Clark, an absolute star for so many years,” Staley said in a release.
'Caitlin Clark is so talented. She can score from anywhere, has incredible vision for someone so young and is a relentless defender. Those of us who pay attention to this game have known about her for some time, but the world is now getting to see what she can do on the biggest of stages. Caitlin is going to be a huge part of women's basketball for a long time and I couldn't be more proud that she is the recipient of this year's Dawn Staley Award.”
The freshman from West Des Moines averaged 26.6 points, 7.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game in her rookie campaign, leading Iowa (20-10) to the Big Ten tournament final and the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
Clark led the nation in assists (214), points (799), points per game (26.6), field goals (266), 3-pointers (116) and ranked second in assists per game (7.1) and 3-pointers per game (3.9).
The Dawn Staley Award was established in 2013 to 'recognize the nation's best guard in Women's Division I college basketball.” It was established by the Phoenix club of Philadelphia, an organization established to recognize the achievements of outstanding male and female basketball players.
Clark is somewhat of a surprise winner, considering the Associated Press recently named Bueckers - another freshman standout, from the University of Connecticut - as its player of the year.
Also Friday, Clark and Bueckers were named co-freshmen of the year by the United States Basketball Writers Association, as they were earlier in the week by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
Clark was a second-team AP All-American, Big Ten freshman of the year and was unanimously selected to the all-Big Ten first team.
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