March 31, 2004
ST. LOUIS, MO. - The United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) has released its women's individual awards for the 2003-04 season with Alana Beard earning the National Player of the Year on Wednesday.
Other awards given out on Wednesday were the National Coach of the Year to Joe Curl of Houston and the National Freshman of the Year to Tiffany Jackson from Texas.
Beard, a Shreveport, La., native led the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in scoring (19.7) and finished the season with averages of 5.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.4 blocks a contest, while leading Duke to a 30-4 record and a Mideast Region Final appearance. The Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll for the first time in school history and finished her career with eight ACC Championships- four tournament and four regular season titles.
For her career, Beard compiled 2,687 points, 789 rebounds, 509 assists, 404 steals and 149 blocks. She became the first player in NCAA men's or women's history to register over 2,500 points and 400 steals and will leave Duke as the all-time leading scorer for men and women. The senior guard led the Blue Devils to two NCAA Final Four appearances and became only the second woman to be named Associated Press first team All-America on three occasions.
The honor for Beard is the second National Player of the Year award she has received this season as she was also selected 2003-04 ESPN.com National Player of the Year.