Hield, Parker are top athletes

Former men’s basketball player Buddy Hield and softball player Paige Parker of Oklahoma were named Big 12 Athletes of the Year.

This marks the sixth time in Big 12 history and first for OU that the same institution claimed both awards. Eight Sooners have now been named Big 12 Athlete of the Year in the 20-year history of the league, and OU’s five such awards since the 2008-09 school year lead the league.

Hield, OU’s first men’s basketball Big 12 Athlete of the Year and who last month was named Big 12 Male Sportsperson of the Year, was the consensus national player of the year. Hield won an ESPY two weeks ago as the Male College Athlete of the Year, and led the Sooners to their fifth Final Four appearance in program history by averaging 25 points per game (second most in the country and most among Power 5 players) and 5.7 rebounds per contest (most among Big 12 guards). He became just the third player in Big 12 history (Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley were the others) to average at least 25 points and 5 boards per game in a season. The Freeport, Bahamas, native was the No. 6 overall pick by the New Orleans Pelicans in June’s NBA Draft.

Parker established herself as one of the best pitchers in the country during her sophomore campaign as she helped lead Oklahoma to its third national title in program history. She was named the Women’s College World Series Most Outstanding Player, an NFCA First-Team All-American, a first-team all-region honoree, Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and an All-Big 12 First Team selection.  Parker tied a school record and led the country with 38 wins while posting a 1.64 ERA with 269 strikeouts in 252.1 innings pitched.