Kelsey Plum wins AP women’s basketball player of the year award

Washington star Kelsey Plum becomes the first Pac-12 player to win the AP women’s basketball Player of the Year award.

Kelsey Plum concluded her historic career at Washington nearly a week ago, but she continues to score big and set records.

On Thursday, Plum was named the Associated Press Player of the Year in women’s college basketball and became the first Pac-12 player to capture the award since it was established in 1995.

Former Connecticut star Breanna Stewart, the Seattle Storm forward, won the award the previous three years and despite Plum’s record-setting accomplishments, this year’s winner wasn’t a foregone conclusion.

Still, Plum was the overwhelming choice. She received 30 votes from a 33-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25 poll. A’ja Wilson of South Carolina, Gabby Williams and Katie Lou Samuelson of UConn each received a vote.

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Meanwhile, UConn’s Geno Auriemma won the AP’s Coach of the Year award for the ninth time. He garnered 26 of the votes while Oregon State’s Scott Rueck was second with three and Drake’s Jennie Baranczyk received two. Duke’s Joanne P. McCallie and Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer each received one vote.

Voting took place before the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s just an honor,” Plum said at an award ceremony in Dallas. “I’m so grateful to the University of Washington, to my coach, to my teammates. This year has been absolutely amazing. There’s not much that I can say besides that. I’m just thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been given and I’m grateful to play this game.”

Plum, a 5-foot-8 guard from Poway, Calif., finished a brilliant UW career as the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer with 3,527 career points. This season…

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