After spearheading the Sooners’ postseason run to the Final Four, University of Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield has been named the 2016 James A. Naismith Trophy winner as the most outstanding men’s college basketball player, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced.
Hield, who becomes the second Sooner to claim the award (Blake Griffin, 2009), was honored at the Naismith Awards Brunch delivered by UPS earlier today at The Hobby Center for Performing Arts in Houston. The other Naismith Trophy finalists were Malcolm Brogdon (University of Virginia), Tyler Ulis (University of Kentucky) and Denzel Valentine (Michigan State University).
The two-time Big 12 Player of the Year, and two-time All-Big 12 first team member, was first among Power 5 players in scoring (25.0 ppg). He is the only player in the country to average at least 25.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest. Hield notched 12 30-point games and 19 25-point games this season. Hield was named an Academic All-Big 12 performer for the second consecutive season.
With Hield’s recognition, Oklahoma joins an elite group of college basketball powerhouses with multiple Naismith Trophy winners, including Duke University (7), UCLA (5), University of North Carolina (3), University of Virginia (3), Indiana University (3) and University of Texas (2).
Hield was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, which based their selections on outstanding on-court performances during the 2015-16 college basketball season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
“In an era when basketball is saturated with incredible talent, Buddy Hield found a way to stand out,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “His leadership and accomplishments have profoundly impacted both his team and the college game as a whole.”
Other notable Naismith Trophy winners have included Bill Walton (1972-74, UCLA), Larry Bird (1979, Indiana State University), Michael Jordan (1984, University of North Carolina), David Robinson (1987, United States Naval Academy) and last year’s winner, Frank Kaminsky (University of Wisconsin).