INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky as the winner of the 2014-15 Oscar Robertson Trophy, annually presented to the National Player of the Year. The announcement was made at a news conference today at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of the NCAA Men's Final Four.
The USBWA All-American and District V Player of the Year, Kaminsky was chosen as the national player of the year based on regular-season performance. Kaminsky will be officially presented the Oscar Robertson Trophy on Tues., April 14 at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards gala at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Head coach Bo Ryan and the entire Wisconsin team joined Kaminsky and Oscar Robertson for the announcement. "To have Frank Kaminsky receive this (award) as the player of the year speaks volumes to what he has done to elevate our program and his teammates," Ryan said. "He's one of a kind, I can tell you that."
"This is obviously a great award and I am honored to receive it," Kaminsky said. "I have to thank my family, who have really helped me grow as a person and grow as a basketball player. I'm just so honored to receive this award."
"He's everything that college basketball is supposed to be about," said USBWA President Dana O'Neil of ESPN. "[He's] a great player and a great person."
The 7-0, 242-pounder from Lisle, Ill., becomes the first USBWA national player of the year from Wisconsin and the third from a Big Ten Conference school since the 2009-10 season. Michigan's Trey Burke won the honor two seasons ago and Ohio State's Evan Turner was the player of the year in the 2009-10 season. Four other Big Ten players have been named the USBWA National Player of the Year (Purdue's Glenn Robinson in 1993-94, Indiana's Calbert Cheaney in 1992-93, Michigan's Cazzie Russell in 1965-66 and Ohio State's Jerry Lucas in both the 1969-61 and 1961-62 seasons).
Kaminsky, the consensus Big Ten Player of the Year and the Big Ten Tournament's Most Outstanding Player, has led the Badgers to a school-record 35 wins, the Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships and a second straight Final Four, where they will face unbeaten Kentucky on Saturday night. He leads the 35-3 Badgers in points (18.7), rebounds (8.0), assists (99), blocks (54), field goal percentage (.549) and 3-point field goal percentage (.415), while ranking 2nd in steals (32). He also leads the team in free throws made (146) and attempted (188). Kaminsky is the only player in NCAA Division I averaging at least 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks per game.
In 15 games, including 12 of Wisconsin's last 21, Kaminsky has reached the 20-point mark and he has scored in double figures in 31 straight games and 36 of 37 games played this season.
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.
Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill 405-640-0406, firstname.lastname@example.org). The April 14 banquet will also honor Virginia coach Tony Bennett with the Henry Iba Award as the national coach of the year, Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award as the national freshman of the year.
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.