MINNEAPOLIS (USBWA) – Duke freshman forward
Zion Williamson has been named the winner of the
Oscar Robertson Trophy as the National Player of
the Year in voting by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
a 6-7 forward from Spartanburg, S.C., was the nation's only player
to average at least 20 points and shoot at least 65 percent from
the field. He was selected to the first team of the USBWA's All-America
Team, and also won the USBWA's Wayman Tisdale Award as the National
Freshman Player of the Year. He was selected over three other finalists
– teammate RJ Barrett of Duke, Ja Morant of Murray State and Grant
Williams of Tennessee.
The trophy's namesake, "The Big O," was on hand at U.S. Bank
Stadium, site of this weekend's Final Four, to announce
Williamson as the winner. The formal presentation of the award
will take place at the College Basketball Awards Dinner on Mon.,
April 15 at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, where he
will also receive the Wayman Tisdale Award. The Henry Iba Award
for National Coach of the Year will be presented to Tennessee's
Rick Barnes. Also, Iowa's Megan Gustafson will receive the Ann
Meyers Drysdale Award as the women's National Player of the
Year, as announced earlier today.
Public tickets for the dinner are on sale at collegebasketballawards.eventbrite.com.
Tickets are $150 per person and include dinner, drinks and parking
in the MAC garage. Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting
Jim Wilson at the MAC at 314-539-4488.
Williamson is the eighth Duke player to win the Oscar Robertson
Trophy and the first since J.J. Redick shared the trophy with Adam
Morrison in 2006. The Blue Devils closed their season in the Elite
Eight, falling to Michigan State in the East Regional final. Following
Duke's 27th Sweet 16 appearance, Williamson averaged 22.6 points
and 8.9 rebounds per game despite missing the last five games of
the regular season due to injury.
The USBWA first-team All-American has electrified fans this season
with his rim-rattling dunks and dramatic blocks on defense. He was
the ACC Player of the Year and the first freshman to be named
the ACC Tournament Most Valuable
Player. While tying for the ACC lead in scoring (22.6 points
per game), Williamson was also second in steals (2.1 per game),
third in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and fifth in blocks (1.8 bpg). Williamson
led Duke to a 21st ACC championship and a 22nd Elite Eight appearance.
He averaged 26.4 points and 9.1 rebounds in seven postseason games.
His impact drew immediate notice from the Atlantic Coast Conference,
which awarded him its Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week
awards in the first week of the season, and he would earn Freshman
of the Week honors four more times as well as an additional Player
of the Week nod last month. The ACC named Williamson as its Player
of the Year last month.
Williamson's 68.0 shooting percentage led the ACC and is second
nationally and is second only to Brendan Haywood's 69.7 percent
shooting (1999-2000) in the ACC single-season record book. Williamson
and Barrett became the first freshman teammates in NCAA history
to each average at least 20 points in a season – Barrett (22.6 points
per game) and Williamson (22.6) were first and second in the ACC
Williamson is the first ACC player to win the Oscar Robertson
Trophy since Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina in 2008, and the
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the
entire membership of the association, which consists of more than
900 journalists. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one
named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the
USBWA's first player of the year in 1959 and was the consensus national
player of the year as a sophomore in 1958, the year before USBWA
started giving its player of the year award. The USBWA renamed the
award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was
formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter
Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in
college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award
programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.
Oscar Robertson Trophy
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