After helping lead the 2017 USA Basketball Women’s 3x3 U18 World Cup Team to a 7-0 record and a gold medal at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup from June 28-July 2 in Chengdu, China, Janelle Bailey (North Carolina/Matthews, N.C.) today was announced as the 2017 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year. Bailey is the first USA 3x3 national team player to be recognized as USA Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year.
“It means the world to me to receive this award,” Bailey said. “Being a part of USA Basketball has been an extremely incredible opportunity that I’m truly grateful for. USA Basketball has allowed me to travel the world and build relationships with my teammates and coaches that I am thankful for. To be recognized as USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year is an honor, and I am humbled to be in the company of the other fantastic players that have won this award.”
USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year - Award History
2017Janelle 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 Lacey
2008 Katie Smith 1988 Katrina McClain
2007 Candice Wiggins 1987 Teresa Edwards
2006 Diana Taurasi 1986 Cheryl Miller
2005 Crystal Langhorne 1985Jennifer Gillom
2004 Dawn Staley 1984Cheryl Miller
2003 Seimone Augustus 1983Lynette Woodard
2002 Lisa Leslie 1982*Cindy Noble & LaTaunya Pollard
2001 Ayana Walker
2000 Teresa Edwards 1981 Denise Curry
1999 Natalie Williams 1980 Carol Blazejowski
1998 Lisa Leslie *Co-recipients
One of three players selected to the 2017 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup All-Tournament Team, Bailey led all players in the 20-team tournament in scoring, with 40 of the USA’s 129 total points and 5.7 points per game, and she scored a team-high 11 points in the 21-14 gold-medal win against Czech Republic. “For Janelle to lead the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup in scoring demonstrates how impressive she was on the court,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO. “But, she also was a team leader who helped guide the USA to a gold medal, and she was a great ambassador for the United States off the court. We are grateful for her commitment and dedication.”
This year marks the 38th time USA Basketball has presented its Female Athlete of the Year award, which was established in 1980 to recognize a USA Basketball athlete who, during the year of the award, made a significant impact on the success of her team’s performance.
Bailey qualified to represent the USA at the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup by winning the 2017 USA Basketball 3x3 U18 National Tournament that was played April 8-9 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Bailey and her team finished 6-0 in that competition.
Prior to the 3x3 events this past summer, she also took part in trials for the 2017 USA U19 World Cup Team, which took place May 18-21 in Colorado Springs. In 2016, she won a bronze medal with USA Basketball at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Cup, and she was a participant at the 2015 USA U16 National Team Trials.
Bailey currently is a freshman at the University of North Carolina in 2017-18, where she has started in all nine games, averaged 14.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game and earned two Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week honors.
A 2017 McDonald’s All-American and Naismith and WBCA honorable mention, Bailey averaged 23.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game as a high school senior at Providence Day School in 2016-17. She helped lead Providence Day to four-straight NCISAA Class 3A state titles and a four-year undefeated record in conference match-ups.