From our friends at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today that Kemba Walker from the University of Connecticut is the winner of the 2011 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. This annual award is given to college basketball’s top point guard and is named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtics guard Bob Cousy. An original list of more than 70 candidates made up of players from all around the country was trimmed by a Hall of Fame appointed, nationally based committee to 20, down to 11, and a final five before voting on the winner of one of college basketball’s most prestigious awards.
“The Hall of Fame is proud to present one of college basketball’s premier awards to Kemba Walker from the University of Connecticut,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “Kemba represents the best in the game at his position and truly represents Bob Cousy’s vision for this award.”
“We are honored to present Kemba Walker the 2011 Bob Cousy Award,” said Ken Kaufman, Chairman of the Bob Cousy Award. “Kemba’s work on the floor has clearly been the driving force of the successful Connecticut season and we could not think of a more deserving candidate for this year’s award. We look forward to honoring Kemba in Houston on April 4th.”
Kemba, a junior guard from the Bronx, New York, has guided the Huskies to the Final Four after the team was absent from most pre-season media polls. He led UConn to an improbable Big East Tournament title, winning five games in five days while earning MVP honors by setting the tournament scoring record – by 46 points. Named First-Team All-Big East, Kemba averages nearly 25 points per game and is one of only four players in the NCAA to average 20 points, five rebounds and four assists per game this season. He is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award and selected first-team All-America by the AP and USBWA.
“I am thrilled that Kemba has been named the winner of the Bob Cousy Award. He is having one of the great seasons ever in college basketball history,” said Jim Calhoun, head coach of the Huskies and member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2005. “Beyond the stats, game-winning shots and accolades, he epitomizes the leadership that a great point guard must have and what he has done to lead our young team to a BIG EAST Championship and to a spot in the Final Four has been unforgettable.”
The other 2011 finalists included Norris Cole (Cleveland State), Jimmer Fredette (BYU), Nolan Smith (Duke) and Jordan Taylor (Wisconsin).
Each of the final five candidates was reviewed by the Hall of Fame’s Blue Ribbon Selection Committee, chaired by former NABC President and Hall of Fame Trustee Ken Kaufman. The Blue Ribbon Selection Committee is made up of top college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, Sports Information Directors and Hall of Famers.
The 2011 Bob Cousy Award presentation will be on Monday April 4 as part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Class Announcement in Houston at the Final Four.
Previous Winners of the Bob Cousy Award
2004 - Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph’s
2005 - Raymond Felton, North Carolina
2006 - Dee Brown, Illinois
2007 - Acie Law, Texas A&M
2008 - D.J. Augustin, Texas
2009 - Ty Lawson, North Carolina
2010 - Greivis Vasquez, Maryland
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame:
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate, men and women.