Griffin Wins John R. Wooden Award
April 10, 2009
LOS ANGELES - University of Oklahoma sophomore Blake Griffin made it a clean sweep of the major college basketball player of the year awards when he was named the John R. Wooden Award recipient Friday during a presentation at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Other finalists were Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair and North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough.
OU senior Courtney Paris was also in attendance for the Wooden ceremonies as one of two women's finalists. Connecticut's Maya Moore won the award on the women's side.
"What an incredible honor it is to accept an award with Coach Wooden's name on it," said Griffin following the presentation and before a trip to the new ESPN studio in Los Angeles for an interview. "From what I've read about him, he's an amazing person and was an amazing coach.
"Like I said last week in Detroit, I've had a lot of help this season -- and throughout my life for that matter -- in terms of my development as a basketball player. Once again, I thank my teammates, coaches and parents for everything they've done for me."
Griffin, who announced Tuesday that he will forego his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility to turn pro, averaged 22.7 points, 14.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game this year while shooting .654 from the field and registering 30 double-doubles. He paced the Big 12 Conference in scoring, rebounding, double-doubles and field goal percentage, and ranked 11th, first, first and second nationally in the categories, respectively.
The 6-10, 251-pound forward, who was the Big 12 Player of the Year and the only unanimous first-team league selection, set OU and Big 12 single-season records for rebounds (504), rebounding average, field goal percentage and double-doubles. Griffin also set school records for free throw attempts (324) and free throw attempts per game (9.3).
Griffin led the Sooners to a 30-6 record this season and to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 28.5 points, 15.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists over OU's four NCAA Tournament games while shooting a staggering .780 from the field.
The Oklahoma City native also earned national player of the year honors from the Atlanta Tipoff Club (Naismith Award), the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (Oscar Robertson Trophy), the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, CBS/Chevrolet and the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky (Rupp Trophy).