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Stewart collects 3rd All-American Award

The Associated Press has announced their first team All-Americans. One of the best in the collegiate game, Breanna Stewart is the leader of the group.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Senior forward, Breanna Stewart once again headlines the Associated Press All-American honors, receiving her third award making her one of six players to ever do so. Also, on the list is her teammate, Moriah Jefferson, Kelsey Mitchell from Ohio State, Rachel Banham from Minnesota and A'ja Wilson from South Carolina.

Stewart appeared on all 32 ballots for the vote by the national media panel. While she has continued to play extremely well in the NCAA Tournament, the voting took place before the tournament began.

The other five players she joins for winning the honor, at least, three times are Brittney Griner (Baylor), Chamique Holdsclaw (Tennessee), Alana Beard (Duke), Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), and Maya Moore (UConn); Paris and Moore were All-American all four years.

"To be given such a prestigious award three times in a row is unbelievable," Stewart said. "When you name those great players and to be in the same, I guess, class as them — it's kind of crazy, because they've done so much for women's basketball and it makes me excited for what's to come."

Jefferson made the honorable mention All-American list her sophomore list and last season was on the second team. This year she made first team to go alongside her teammate.

"It's one of those moments that it's so surreal," Jefferson said. "Being able to play with Stewie and with (Morgan) Tuck, obviously, had a lot to do with it. They make my job a lot easier. So, coming in with them was probably the best decision of my life." Tuck is on the second team All-American honor.

Stewart also had high praise for her teammate sharing, "She deserves that. "When you are able to do it with a teammate it makes it even more special because we've gone through everything this year together and now we can start celebrating what we've done together."

For Banham, the honor is even greater. The Minnesota guard missed a lot of the season last year after suffering a torn ACL. She battled back from a massive injury, and it paid off for her. "It means a lot," Banham said. "It's something that I always wanted and had been working towards," the guard said.

"I told my coach at the beginning of year I want to be an All-America, and coming off an injury, it means a lot more to me."

Receiving this honor as a sophomore, Wilson knows she has put herself in a good position for the rest of her career at South Carolina.  "That's something I always grew up thinking about. I've always wanted to achieve a lot of things. That's an honor. I'm blessed to be in this position, and I can't really put it into words," Wilson said. "I have so much work to do to put into my game — to have that honor when I'm just a sophomore really does warm my heart."

The other sophomore to get the honor was Mitchell from Ohio State. Ohio State coach shared his appreciation for the guard to be playing under him. "She has such a relentless drive to be the very best that she can be. That drive is really infectious with the team, and she was a big part of our success this season."

The second team of All-American honors includes, Tuck of UConn, Nina Davis of Baylor, Brianna Turner of Notre Dame, Tiffany Mitchell of South Carolina and Jamie Weisner of Oregon State.

The third team includes Shatori Walker-Kimbrough of Maryland, Kelsey Plum of Washington, Brittney Martin of Oklahoma State, Jillian Alleyne of Oregon and Aerial Powers of Michigan State.