UNC freshman forward Janelle Bailey was recognized as USA Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year, it was announced Wednesday.
The 6-foot-4-inch native of Matthews, North Carolina has emerged as a potential star in Chapel Hill, but it was her work over the summer that won her this particular award.
Bailey led the U.S. National Team to a 7-0 record and a gold medal in the FIBA U18 3-on-3 World Cup, which was held in Chengdu, China.
She becomes the first USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year to be selected from the 3-on-3 team.
The 3-on-3 competition was created in 2012, and its games are decided by whichever team is the first to score 21 points.
Of the 129 total points scored by the U.S. team, Bailey scored 40 of them–including a team-high 11 in the 21-14 win over Serbia in the championship game.
“For Janelle to lead the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Cup in scoring demonstrates how impressive she was on the court,” Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO, said. “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.”
Bailey is currently averaging 14.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game at UNC, after being named a McDonald’s All-American coming out of Providence Day School in Matthews.
Already a two-time ACC Rookie of the Week Award winner, she is now the 38th winner of the USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.
“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,” Bailey said.
Photo via USA Basketball