Connecticut’s Kia Nurse Named WBCA Defensive Player of the Year 2018

ATLANTA (March 29, 2017) — Kia Nurse of the University of Connecticut is the 2018 WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year, announced today by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

The Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive women's basketball player in all of NCAA Division I. All conference defensive players of the year in NCAA Division I are considered for the award. If a conference does not select a defensive player of the year, the conference office can nominate one player to be considered.

“Kia Nurse has been a consistent defensive force for her UConn team and has earned the highest respect from opposing coaches and players.  She is a gifted and hard-working student-athlete who has demonstrated determination, intensity, effort and teamwork at the highest level,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. We celebrate Kia and appreciate her contribution to her team as well as to the game of women’s basketball.”

This season, Nurse led the way for one of the nation’s most dominant defenses. The senior guard averaged 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game, while adding 44 steals on the season. The Huskies were third in the nation and first in The American Athletic Conference (AAC) in scoring defense at 51.7 points per game. They placed fifth nationally with 31 defensive rebounds per game. The Hamilton, Ontario, native was named The AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference.

Nurse and the Huskies finished the regular season undefeated and earned a berth to UConn’s 18th NCAA Women’s Final Four.

The WBCA NCAA Division I Defensive Player of the Year award began in 2007.

Visit to see a list of past recipients.

About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit for more details about the Association.