Dec. 27, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mel Greenberg
Guard scores career-high 24, adds 9 rebounds
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Rider guard Stella Johnson as its Women's National Freshman of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 25. The USBWA's weekly honor will be handed out each Tuesday through mid-February today.

As the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference freshman of the week, Johnson earned consideration as a nominee for the weekly award, which was chosen by Mel Greenberg, the USBWA coordinator for women's basketball, from a list of Division I conference freshmen of the week.

Johnson, a 5-10 guard from Denville, N.J., in the Broncs' only game, had a career-high 24 points, collected nine rebounds, grabbed five steals and dealt four assists in the win over St. Francis of Brooklyn. She was 9-for-11 from the field, making her first seven shots, and was also 5-for-5 on the foul line and also connected on her only attempted 3-pointer. In 34 minutes of action, Johnson committed just one turnovers.

Since the 2003-04 season, the USBWA has named a Women's National Freshman of the Year. This is the third season USBWA has honored a national freshman of the week. At the 2012 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Denver, the organization announced going forward that the national and weekly player award has been named for Hall of Famer and former UCLA All-American Ann Meyers Drysdale and another famous name in women’s basketball is being deliberated for the freshman award. At the conclusion of the regular season, the freshman winner will be voted on by the entire membership of the USBWA. The winner of the 2017 Women’s National Freshman of the Year will be announced and presented at the USBWA’s annual awards event in Dallas, site of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Several other women’s awards may also be announced later this season associated with more famous names in women’s basketball history. Also in 2012 in Denver, it was also announced there that former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who was the female recipient of the Most Courageous Award for her battle against early onset dementia, Alzheimer type, would have that award named in her honor. Coach Summitt ultimately succumbed to that battle this past June.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. It has selected a women's All-America team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

2016-17 Women's National Freshmen of the Week
Week ending Dec. 11: Tori McCoy, Ohio State (Big Ten Conference)
Week ending Dec. 18: Ana Ferariu, Drexel (Colonial Athletic Association)
Week ending Dec. 25: Stella Johnson, Rider (Metro Atlantic Athletic Association)
Week ending Jan. 1: Nancy Mulkey, Oklahoma (Big 12 Conference)
Week ending Jan. 8: Chanelle Molina, Washington State (Pac-12 Conference)
Week ending Jan. 15: Justine Gaziano, Brown (Ivy League)
Week ending Jan. 22: Mary Gedaka, Villanova (Big East Conference)
Week ending Jan. 29: Kysre Gondrezick, Michigan (Big Ten Conference)
Week ending Feb. 5: Bella Alarie, Princeton (Ivy League)
Week ending Feb. 12: Joyner Holmes, Texas (Big 12 Conference)
Week ending Feb. 19: Minyon Moore, USC (Pac-12 Conference)