The Basketball Heisman
OK, Clever Girls- listen up- because you will get major points for committing some of this information to memory today for later use Monday night when Duke takes on Butler. The basketball version of the Heisman is called the Naismith and is awarded to both the outstanding men’s NCAA basketball player and women’s NCAA basketball player (as well as men’s and women’s NCAA coach and official and high school player). That ceremony is today.
It’s an interesting year for the finalists- as three out of the four schools with players in the finals have never captured a Naismith.
The finalists of the 2010 NCAA men’s Naismith trophy ballot are-
Sherron Collins- Kansas
Wes Johnson- Syracuse
Evan Turner- Ohio State
John Wall- Kentucky
Only Kansas has a previous winner- Danny Manning (1988).
I understand the trophy is a tribute to the founder of basketball, Dr. James Naismith- but the fact 5,000 people are awarded a Naismith trophy annually dilutes the honor a bit. Just my opinion.
Here is what you need to know. The first ever Naismith Trophy was awarded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club in 1969 to Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul- Jabbar). Major points for the Clever Girl who knows Kareem’s real name.
I know a lot of very Clever Guys who are devoted to college hoops- but very few of them can name the past five Naismith Trophy winners. Here you go.
2009 Blake Griffin- Oklahoma
2008 Tyler Hansbrough- North Carolina
2007 Kevin Durant- Texas
2006 J.J. Reddick- Duke
2005 Andrew Bogut- Utah
Now, I do not impart this information expecting you to show off. Clever Girls NEVER show off- gross. This is not to be prattled off in know-it-all fashion but rather- “Hey, who won the Naisman last year? Was it …?” Ask, don’t tell. Dudes hate being told a thing or two by women- especially when it comes to sports- ESPECIALLY if there are other dudes around. Here is another way to work it in for Monday night- “When was the last time Duke took home a Naismith? Hmmm. Was it Reddick?”
Coach K is the winningest Naismith coach in history (’89, ’92, ’99). It’s a short history though- the trophy has only been extended to coaches for 23 years. Coach K has an advantage in that this is his 30th year with Duke- 30 years. Would seem he’s due.
Duke is the winningest Naismith team in history with seven winners. I won’t bore you with them- knowing that is plenty. If you are interested- look it up. Be intentional- I guarantee, if your Clever Guy is a Duke devotee, he will know every winner and year.
Another really exciting event takes place today- other than Easter- major league baseball opens TONIGHT! The New York Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox in the season opener. YIPEE!
Plan on me taking on baseball in the next two weeks- rules, regulations, history, scoring and terminology. This is a vast game with fantastic history. It’s a tough game not to like- especially live.
This was a special Sunday edition of Clever Girl.