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Diana Taurasi named USA Basketball female athlete of year

Diana Taurasi of the United States reacts after

Diana Taurasi of the United States reacts after making a shot against Czech Republic during a preliminary round game on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena. (Aug. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Diana Taurasi has been chosen USA Basketball's female athlete of the year for 2012 after leading the Americans to a fifth straight Olympic gold medal.

Taurasi averaged 12.4 points a game to guide the United States to an undefeated record in London. She has won the award three times now, earning the honor also in 2006 and 2010, matching Lisa Leslie. Only Teresa Edwards has won the award more times with four.

Taurasi shot 46 percent from the field and 96 percent from the free throw line during the Olympics.

U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said in a statement Wednesday that Taurasi was "spectacular as a leader on and off the court."

Auriemma, who coached Taurasi at UConn, is "constantly amazed by her will to win, her drive and how much she makes everyone around her better."

LeBron James was the USA Basketball male athlete of the year.

New York Sports