INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Northeastern guard
Kendall Currence is this year's Pat
Summitt Most Courageous Award winner. The senior has demonstrated
an intrepid spirit and a remarkable determination, undergoing more
than a dozen surgeries after being born with a cleft lip and palate.
She also has overcome having three holes in her heart, a heart murmur
and a bicuspid aortic valve, according to the Boston Globe.
Currence, a 5-foot-8 guard, thrived despite these challenges.
She leads the Huskies and is seventh in the Colonial Athletic Association
with 16.0 points per game to go with 3.7 rebounds per game while
shooting fourth-best (43.8 percent) in her conference among guards.
She was chosen to the All-CAA first team and will be honored at
the upcoming Women's Final Four in Minneapolis.
grateful and lucky to be here playing, especially with what I've
gone through," she told The Globe. "A lot of kids with
cleft lip and palate can't even talk, and a lot of people with heart
problems can't play sports, so I'd say I'm grateful."
Currence is also a member of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe
and was raised on her tribe's homeland in Bourne, Mass. She and
her family are actively involved in the tribal community – she has
danced at powwow across New England and volunteered as an interpreter
at Plimouth Plantation.
Her commitment to her community
and her team, as well as her perseverance through health issues,
embody the spirit of this award.
"I am so proud to coach
and know Kendall. She embodies everything that this award represents.
She's demonstrated true resilience through adversity all of her
life both on and off the court," Northeastern coach Bridgette
Mitchell said. "Her mentality, intelligence, confidence, and
desire to see change in the world around her is inspiring. She's a
woman of character that will continue to change the world."
The Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award has been
presented by the USBWA since 2012, when the award's legendary namesake
was honored as she battled early-onset dementia. Summitt won 1,098
games and eight national championships in her 42 seasons as a college
coach. She passed away in 2016.
The USBWA has presented a Most Courageous Award since the 1977-78
season to recognize a player, coach, team, official or administrator
who has demonstrated extraordinary courage reflecting honor on amateur
basketball. In 2012, the USBWA expanded the program to designate
a recipient from both men's and women's college basketball.
Last season, the men's Most Courageous Award was named in
honor of Perry Wallace, the SEC's first Black athlete to play a
full four-year career in any sport. Andrew Jones of Texas and
Justin Hardy of Washington U. were chosen as this season's
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 an All-America
team since the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA
and its award programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran
All-time Most Courageous