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UConn’s Kia Nurse Named WBCA Defensive Player of the Year

Nurse’s classmate, Gabby Williams, was named the winner of the Senior CLASS Award.

More hardware for the Huskies’ seniors.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn women’s basketball’s seniors were honored with a pair of rewards before the 2018 Final Four as Kia Nurse was named the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year while Gabby Williams earned the Senior CLASS Award.

Nurse is the Huskies’ top perimeter defender, taking on the opposing team’s best guard and often locking them down. Her best performance of the season came in January at USF when she held the Bulls’ leading scorer, Kitija Laksa, to no points on 0-of-11 shooting.

Last week, Nurse was named a honorable mention All-American by the AP. She is the fourth UConn player to be named the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year, joining Williams (2017), Moriah Jefferson (2016) and Stefanie Dolson (2014).

Williams, meanwhile, was voted by Division I coaches, media and fans as the most outstanding student-athlete in Division I women’s basketball. She is averaging 11.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game as the Huskies’ versatile post player.

Off the court, she is a member of UConn’s director of athletics’ honor roll with a 3.306 GPA in Urban and Community Studies. She is also active in the community, helping out with the Foundation for Life’s Bikes for Kids event, Go 4 the Goal, the American Red Cross, Toys for Tots, the Mansfield 5K Kids Run, Athletes for Hope, among other causes.

The Sparks, NV native is the fifth Husky to win the award, joining Breanna Stewart (2016), Dolson (2014), Maya Moore (2011) and Sue Bird (2002).