Duke's Battier Wins Wooden Award
April 8, 2001
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Duke University's Shane Battier was named the winner of the 25th annual John R. Wooden Award as the college basketball player of the year in a nationally televised announcement Friday at The Los Angeles Athletic Club.
The 6-8 Battier led his team to the 2001 NCAA title on Monday. John Wooden made the announcement on the Fox Sports Net broadcast, and presented Battier with a special silver-plated 25th anniversary version of the Wooden Award trophy.
Battier, a senior from Birmingham, Michigan, is a three-time Academic All-American and three-time National Defensive Player of the Year. He averagd 19.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.3 blocks. His head coach, Mike Krzyzewski, who also made the trip to Los Angeles, has called him "the most complete all-around player I have coached."
Ballotting by more than 1,000 members of the media and college basketball experts was conducted the first three weeks in March and votes were tabulated and certified by Harris Interactive. Voters selected 10 players for the Wooden All-America team from the 20 student-athletes listed on the ballot, and ranked them from 1 to 10. Voters were asked to take into account performance during the regular season and postseason, as well as a player's character and academic performance. All players on the ballot were certified as maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA at their current school, including the most recent semester.
Gonzaga University senior forward Casey Calvary was one of the 10 finalists as a member of the John R. Wooden All-America team. In an online poll conducted by Harris Interactive, finished second behind Battier in fan balloting. Battier received 63 percent of the fan votes, Calvary 9 percent.
Also finishing in the top five were Wooden All-Americans Casey Jacobsen of Stanford, Notre Dame's Troy Murphy, North Carolina's Joseph Forte and Battier's teammate, Jason Williams. Jacobsen, Murphy and Williams, along with Wooden All-American Jarron Collins of Stanford, were in attendance at the television event. In addition to the Player of the Year Award, The Los Angeles Athletic Club also presented Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson with the John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor. Olson's Wildcats finished as runners-up in the NCAA Tournament to the Blue Devils.
Battier joins a distinguished group of Wooden Award winners, including Michael Jordan (North Carolina), David Robinson (Navy), and Larry Bird (Indiana State). Other winners from Duke were Christian Laettner (1992) and Elton Brand (1999). Duke is now tied for the lead in all-time Wooden Award winners (3) with North Carolina. Players from the Atlantic Coast Conference have won four of the past five years. Cincinnati's Kenyon Martin won the Award last year. Proceeds from the John R. Wooden Award support a summer camp for needy children and general scholarship funds for participating high schools and universities.
The Los Angeles Athletic Club, one of the nation's finest and oldest private athletic clubs, inaugurated the John R. Wooden Award in 1977 and the Award has grown in stature to become the most prestigious of the college basketball player of the year awards. Founded in 1880, The Club is located at 7th and Olive Streets in one of Los Angeles' landmark buildings. The current facility, built in 1912, has 12 stories and more than 150,000 square feet of space including 72 European-style hotel rooms and four unique dining experiences. The Club's athletic facilities include two indoor swimming pools, three fitness centers, a basketball/volleyball court, a tartan running track, handball/squash/racquetball courts, an aerobics studio, state-of-the-art weight training and cardio equipment and steam, sauna, tanning and massage areas. In addition to the Wooden Award, The Club's athletic heritage includes a tradition of Olympic and amateur success. Club members have won more Olympic medals than any other club contingent in the nation, more than 100, and The Club currently sponsors the U.S. National Champion boys Junior Olympic volleyball team.
1977 Marques Johnson, UCLA
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