April 5, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Joe Mitch
Freshman forward will be honored in St. Louis
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MINNEAPOLIS (USBWA) Duke freshman forward Zion Williamson has been named the winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the National Player of the Year in voting by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Oscar Robertson TrophyWilliamson, a 6-7 forward from Spartanburg, S.C., was the nation's only player to average at least 20 points and shoot at least 65 percent from the field. He was selected to the first team of the USBWA's All-America Team, and also won the USBWA's Wayman Tisdale Award as the National Freshman Player of the Year. He was selected over three other finalists teammate RJ Barrett of Duke, Ja Morant of Murray State and Grant Williams of Tennessee.

The trophy's namesake, "The Big O," was on hand at U.S. Bank Stadium, site of this weekend's Final Four, to announce Williamson as the winner. The formal presentation of the award will take place at the College Basketball Awards Dinner on Mon., April 15 at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, where he will also receive the Wayman Tisdale Award. The Henry Iba Award for National Coach of the Year will be presented to Tennessee's Rick Barnes. Also, Iowa's Megan Gustafson will receive the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the women's National Player of the Year, as announced earlier today.

Public tickets for the dinner are on sale at collegebasketballawards.eventbrite.com. Tickets are $150 per person and include dinner, drinks and parking in the MAC garage. Sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Jim Wilson at the MAC at 314-539-4488.

Williamson is the eighth Duke player to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the first since J.J. Redick shared the trophy with Adam Morrison in 2006. The Blue Devils closed their season in the Elite Eight, falling to Michigan State in the East Regional final. Following Duke's 27th Sweet 16 appearance, Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game despite missing the last five games of the regular season due to injury.


The USBWA first-team All-American has electrified fans this season with his rim-rattling dunks and dramatic blocks on defense. He was the ACC Player of the Year and the first freshman to be named the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player. While tying for the ACC lead in scoring (22.6 points per game), Williamson was also second in steals (2.1 per game), third in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and fifth in blocks (1.8 bpg). Williamson led Duke to a 21st ACC championship and a 22nd Elite Eight appearance. He averaged 26.4 points and 9.1 rebounds in seven postseason games.

His impact drew immediate notice from the Atlantic Coast Conference, which awarded him its Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week awards in the first week of the season, and he would earn Freshman of the Week honors four more times as well as an additional Player of the Week nod last month. The ACC named Williamson as its Player of the Year last month.

Williamson's 68.0 shooting percentage led the ACC and is second nationally and is second only to Brendan Haywood's 69.7 percent shooting (1999-2000) in the ACC single-season record book. Williamson and Barrett became the first freshman teammates in NCAA history to each average at least 20 points in a season Barrett (22.6 points per game) and Williamson (22.6) were first and second in the ACC in scoring.

Williamson is the first ACC player to win the Oscar Robertson Trophy since Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina in 2008, and the 16th overall.

The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of more than 900 journalists. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959 and was the consensus national player of the year as a sophomore in 1958, the year before USBWA started giving its player of the year award. The USBWA renamed the award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

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