Zion completes 19 reward sweep with Wooden



LOS ANGELES – Zion Williamson of Duke added to his 2019 awards on Friday night, becoming the third freshman to win the John R. Wooden Award as the country's male player of the year.

Williamson, 18, joined Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis as the only freshmen to win the award, which was presented at the fifth edition of the College Basketball Awards at Novo, in downtown Los Angeles. He is the sixth winner of the Wood Prize in the history of Duke, the largest number of schools.

Williamson, who earlier this month earned the AP player title and Naismith Award, also won the Karl Malone Award, awarded as the nation's top striker on Friday. 39, national television program.

"It's very humbling to receive this award, but I know I would not be there without my teammates," said Williamson after receiving the Wooden Award. "Because it was the little things they did throughout the season to stay motivated – from RJ [Barrett] saying, "I do not feel right now, you have to bring energy" to Tre [Jones] saying "Bro, it's time to introduce yourself" to Cam [Reddish] saying, "Bro, kill," that was a lot. And the coaches for pushing me. So I know that without my teammates, I would not be here. "

Widely considered the best prospect for this year's draft, Williamson refused to say he would join Barrett and Reddish in stating, pulling laughter out of the crowd when he said, "Umm, who knows? "

Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game last season, and his 26.0 points per game in the NCAA tournament were the most important assets of a first-time player year to play at least three matches, according to ESPN Stats & Information's research.

The Blue Devils fell to Michigan State in the Elite Eight.

The other winners on Friday night were:

– Barrett of Duke Award, Jerry West

– Rui Hachimura of Gonzaga, Julius Erving small reward forward

– Ethan Happ from Wisconsin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center Award

– Murray State's Ja Morant, Goalkeeper Bob Cousy's Award

All homonyms were present to present their trophies except Cousy, who is 90 years old.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger received the Wooden Legends of Coaching award from Steve Henson, his former Kansas State player and current Texas coach in San Antonio.

Kruger is 160-105 in eight seasons with the Sooners. He is the first Division I coach to guide five different schools to the NCAA Tournament.

The individual awards were decided by a combination of fan votes and the participation of the Basketball Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

Associated Press contributed to this report.


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