HOUSTON (USBWA) The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Oklahoma senior guard Buddy Hield as the winner of the 2015-16 Oscar Robertson Trophy, annually presented to the National Player of the Year. The announcement was made at a news conference today at NRG Stadium, where the Sooners (29-7) take on Villanova in the NCAA Men's Final Four on Saturday.
Affectionately known as "Buddy Buckets," the USBWA All-American and District VI Player of the Year, Hield was chosen as the national player of the year based on regular-season performance. Hield will be officially presented the Oscar Robertson Trophy on Mon., April 11 at the College Basketball Awards gala at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
"Buddy Hield is richly deserving of the Oscar Robertson Trophy. He is a thrilling shooter and scorer who has led his team to the pinnacle of college basketball success, the Final Four," said USBWA President Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports. "Like Oscar himself, he also is a complete player capable of filling the stat sheet in a number of categories. But most importantly, Buddy is a self-made star from very humble beginnings in the Bahamas who has seized the four-year opportunity college basketball has provided to make himself the best he can be. The sport is better because of Buddy."
The 6-4, 214-pounder from Freeport, Bahamas, becomes the second Oscar Robertson Trophy winner from Oklahoma, joining Blake Griffin from the 2008-09 season. The two-time Big 12 Conference Player of the Year enters the Final Four as the nation's second-leading scorer (25.4 ppg). He leads the nation in three-point field goals per game (4.1) and has 12 30-point games this season, including a 37-point performance in the West Regional Final win over Oregon. Twice this season, he was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week.
With 2,282 career points, Hield is second in career scoring at OU and his 346 career three-pointers are the most in school history. In leading the Sooners to their fifth Final Four appearance in school history and first since 2002, Hield is shooting 50.4 percent from the field, including 46.5 percent from three-point range and 88.0 percent from the free-throw line. His 5.7 rebounds per game lead all Big 12 guards.
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 College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill 405-640-0406, firstname.lastname@example.org). The April 11 banquet will also honor Xavier coach Chris Mack with the Henry Iba Award as the national coach of the year, LSU forward Ben Simmons with the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award as the national freshman of the year and legendary former Missouri coach Norm Stewart with the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award presented by Love's Travel Stops.
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.