Griffin's Awards Tour Photo Gallery
April 14, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma's men's basketball season concluded March 29 with an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight loss to eventual national champion North Carolina. Blake Griffin, who dominated his way to averages of 28.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in OU's four postseason games, has not had much time to rest or to reflect on the Sooners' 30-6 season since that final game in Memphis, however.
Just three days after falling to the Tar Heels, Griffin boarded a plane for an awards tour that began in Detroit at the Final Four and ended nine days later in Los Angeles. During that time the sophomore forward received seven national player of the year honors, including the prestigious Naismith and Wooden Awards. He also signed thousands of autographs and posed for pictures with college basketball fans too numerous to count.
In between the treks to the Midwest and West Coast was a media conference back in Norman where the 6-10, 251-pound forward announced his decision to forego his final two years of collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA Draft. The move was not a surprise, as Griffin led the Big 12 with his 22.7 points and his 14.4 rebounds per game, as well as with his .654 season field goal percentage. He ranked 11th nationally in scoring, first in rebounding and second in field goal shooting. He also paced the country with 30 double-doubles.
Despite winning every national player of the year honor, Griffin remained gracious and humble throughout the recognition process.
After claiming the Wooden Award at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Griffin, just like he did in Detroit when he received the other six trophies, seemed more willing to credit others than speak about himself.
"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."
Sooner fans are more than thankful for Griffin's two seasons in an OU uniform, and for the memories he created and the manner in which he carried himself as a person. He will go down as one of the best -- and probably the most fierce -- to ever play at Oklahoma.
Now, if he could just get a little rest.