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Hannah Hidalgo

Hannah Hidalgo, Celeste Taylor, Kamilla Cardoso shine defensively

Latinas take Defensive Player of the Year honors in SEC, ACC, Big Ten

Latinas earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in three of the top women’s basketball conferences in America. Notre Dame freshman sensation Hannah Hidalgo was the ACC’s DPOY. Brazilian center Kamilla Cardoso, who leads undefeated and No. 1 ranked South Carolina, was the SEC DPOY.

Ohio State graduate student Celeste Taylor was the Big Ten DPOY. Taylor earned the Big Ten award a year after winning the ACC DOPY award as a senior at Duke.

Hidalgo was one of the most decorated players in all of women’s basketball. She was named the ACC Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and an All-ACC First Team selection.

Interestingly enough, Hidalgo joined Cardoso as only the third woman to win the ACC Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Honors in the same season.

The 6-foot-7 Cardoso was the ROY and DPOY as a freshman at Syracuse in 2021. She then transferred to South Carolina after the 2021 season. She became one of the SEC’s top players almost immediately, but she didn’t earn a major conference award until her junior year.

This is the first year that Cardoso is a first-team All-SEC pick. She was a second-team selection last year. Cardoso was the SEC’s DPOY and a first-team All-SEC selection. Some women’s basketball experts considered Cardoso a top contender for SEC Player of the Year.

That award went to LSU star Angel Reese. LSU’s Dominican center Aalyah Del Rosario was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.

Hannah Hidalgo follows Taylor’s lead

Taylor, who has benefitted from an extra COVID season, has made the most of her graduate season at Ohio State. A year after earning the ACC DPOY award, she locked down the Big Ten.

She helped the No. 4 ranked Buckeyes win the Big Ten regular season title. Taylor started her career at Texas before transferring to Duke, where she was the DPOY as a senior last season.


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The 5-foot-11 Taylor led the Big Ten with 2.2 steals per game. She also averages 0.9 blocks per game, which was eighth in the league. Hidalgo and Taylor are guards who specialize in steals. Cardoso is a beast on the boards and blocking shots. She led the SEC with 2.7 blocks per game.

Hidalgo leads the nation with a stunning 4.9 steals per game. She has already shattered the Notre Dame single-season and ACC freshman single-season record with 141 steals.

Taylor was a second-team All-Big Ten selection. All three have been named to the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year watchlist.

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