Zion Williamson Named NABC Player, Freshman of the Year

Brian HoraceGeneral InformationLeave a Comment

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Duke’s Zion Williamson has captured a pair of national awards from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as the NABC Division I Player of the Year and the NABC Freshman of the Year.

Williamson will receive his awards on Sunday, April 7, at the NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show in Minneapolis at 7:30 p.m. ET live on Stadium (https://watchstadium.com).

This season marks the sixth time a Blue Devil has been honored as the NABC Player of the Year – most all-time – as Williamson joins J.J. Redick (2006), Jason Williams (2002, 2001), Elton Brand (1999) and Christian Laettner (1992). Only Williamson and Texas’ Kevin Durant (1997) have won the NABC Player of the Year award as a freshman.

A consensus first-team All-American, the ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player, Williamson was a force on both ends of the floor, finishing tied for the ACC lead in scoring with 22.6 ppg, third in rebounding (8.9 rpg), second in steals (2.1) and fifth in blocks (1.8). His .680 field goal percentage led the ACC and is second nationally.

In leading Duke to the program’s 21st ACC Championship and 22nd Elite Eight appearance, the freshman from Spartanburg, S.C., averaged 26.4 points and 9.1 rebounds in seven postseason games.

This is the third year the NABC has handed out the Freshman of the Year honor, with Williamson and Marvin Bagley III (2018) accounting for two of the awards. UCLA’s Lonzo Ball won the inaugural award in 2017.

De’Andre Hunter of Virginia is the 2019 NABC Defensive Player of the Year, while Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ earned honors as the NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year. Purdue’s Matt Painter is the NABC Coach of the Year for 2019.

Duke’s NABC Players of the Year

Christian Laettner, 1992

Elton Brand, 1999

Jason Williams, 2001

Jason Williams, 2002

J.J. Redick, 2006

Zion Williamson, 2019

Duke’s NABC Freshmen of the Year

Marvin Bagley III, 2018

Zion Williamson, 2019

Most NABC Player of the Year awards

Duke, 6

North Carolina, 4

Kansas, 4

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