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BYU basketball: Jimmer Fredette named Naismith Award winner, NABC national player of the year

Published: Sunday, April 3 2011 7:40 p.m. MDT

PROVO — He's known simply as Jimmer. He's also known as pretty much everyone's choice as national college basketball player of the year.

BYU guard Jimmer Fredette added to his hardware haul in Houston Sunday night when he was named the winner of the 2011 Naismith Award, emblematic of the national player of the year, by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

Fredette beat out Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Duke's Nolan Smith and Connecticut's Kemba Walker and became the first Cougar to earn the prestigious award.

In addition to the Naismith, Fredette nabbed the Oscar Robertson, Adolph Rupp, and Associated Press national player of the year awards over the last several days.

Fredette also earned the National Association of Basketball Coaches national player of the year honors on Sunday.

The only major national player of the year award that Fredette has not captured is the John R. Wooden Award. That is scheduled to be announced on April 8.

For the Naismith Award, Fredette was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, made up of basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. Fan voting via text message accounted for 25 percent of the final results.

"As it is most years, this year's decision was incredibly difficult. In the end, Jimmer's exhilarating play for the Cougars this season was simply too much for voters to ignore," said Atlanta Tipoff Club executive director Eric Oberman. "We congratulate Jimmer and all the finalists on a remarkable season and wish each the best of luck in their future basketball careers."

Fredette led the nation in scoring (28.9 points per game) and guided the Cougars to a school-record 32 victories and their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1981.

"Jimmer has put in the time and hard work to make himself the player he is today and is as committed to winning as anyone I've ever coached," said BYU coach Dave Rose. "Jimmer truly is a great player, a great teammate and an even better person and is very deserving of this award."

Other notable Naismith college player of the year winners include Michael Jordan (1984), Ralph Sampson (1981-1983), Larry Bird (1979), Patrick Ewing (1985), Bill Walton (1972-1974), Andrew Bogut (2005) and last year's winner, Evan Turner, from Ohio State.

Email: jeffc@desnews.com

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