The 2015 John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s was handed out this evening before a live audience at Club Nokia to Wisconsin senior center Frank Kaminsky as the high point of the inaugural ESPN College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s. Kaminsky received the the Wooden Award Trophy whose unique design was inspired by Coach Wooden’s idea of the “total basketball player.” Coach Wooden’s grandson, Greg Wooden, and Wendy’s Chief Marketing Officer Brandon Solano made the announcement.
Kaminsky averaged 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 blocks in his outstanding senior season in which he was named Big Ten Player of the Year. He had 20 points and 11 rebounds in the Badgers’ historic win over Kentucky in the Final Four semifinals. He is the first winner ever from Wisconsin and the first Big Ten winner since Trey Burke of Michigan in 2013. The Big Ten boasts three winners in the past six years. In total, five Big Ten players have won the Wooden Award: Kaminsky, Burke, Evan Turner of Ohio State, Glenn Robinson of Purdue; and Indiana’s Calbert Cheaney.
A voting base of nearly 1,000 college basketball experts throughout the nation ranked players from 10 to 1, and fans voted through the Fan Voting site woodenawardvote.com. Voters could consider performance through the round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Kaminsky received 3,385 points, followed by Duke’s Jahlil Okafor (3,060); Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein (2,361); Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant (1,870); and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell (1,583). Rounding out the Top 10 were Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer (1,346); Seth Tuttle of Northern Iowa (1,009); Utah’s Delon Wright (967); Ron Baker of Wichita State (907); and Malcolm Brogdon of Virginia (864). All 10 players are designated as Wooden Award All Americans for 2015.
As insisted upon by Coach Wooden at the Award’s creation 39 years ago, All Americans have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. In addition to Kaminsky, Okafor, Grant, Russell, and Wright attended the Awards show, which honored the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, and included the presentation of the Wooden Award All American Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award, this year given to Steve Fisher of San Diego State.
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), Candace Parker (’07 and ’08), Blake Griffin (’09) and Maya Moore of Connecticut (’09 and ‘11). Creighton’s Doug McDermott won the 2014 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed close to a million dollars to universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients. The Award has also sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps in the Award’s name. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament, which brings together Special Olympic athletes and the All Americans, takes place at The Los Angeles Athletic Club tomorrow.
Follow the candidates and get the latest news throughout the season by going to the Wooden Award facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WoodenAward or twitter feed @WoodenAward. For more information on the John R. Wooden Award, please contact the Wooden Award staff at 213-630-5231 or via email at [email protected].