Guardian of the game
Meyer among impressive list of honorees at NABC awards
HOUSTON -- Don Meyer won more than 900 games in his coaching career, including 221 at Northern State University, and he was one of the many honored at the NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show on Sunday night at the Cullen Theatre in downtown Houston.
|HEY, BIG MAN|
|JaJuan Johnson had his name called a few times at the Cullen Theatre on Sunday night, one more sign that all of his success at Purdue this season did not go unnoticed.|
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Meyer, who wrapped up his career with 923 victories, received the Guardians of the Game Pillar Award for Leadership.
In his acceptance speech, Meyer talked about what being a leader is all about.
“First, you have to find a unique talent or gift and get great satisfaction from it,” Meyer said. “You also have to develop that gift to the fullest, because no one wants an average gift. And third, you have to give that gift away everyday. The only true gift is shared with somebody else and really expects the greatest from you as a leader.”
The other Pillar Awards went to Miami of Ohio coach Charlie Coles for Education, Pat Cunningham of Trinity University for Advocacy and Bill Self of Kansas for Service.
Brigham Young sensation Jimmer Fredette walked away with the Naismith Player of the Year honor, edging out award hopefuls Nolan Smith (Duke), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) and Kemba Walker (Connecticut).
Fredette was also named the Division I NABC Player of the Year. Darryl Webb of Indiana (Penn.) was named the Division II Player of the Year and Whitworth standout Michael Taylor was the Division III Player of the Year.
The NABC Coaches of the Year were Steve Fisher of San Diego State, Scott Davenport of Bellarmine and Steve Fritz of St. Thomas. Fisher led the Aztecs to its greatest season in school history while Davenport guided the Knights to their first D-II national championship. Fritz led the Tommies to their first D-III national title.
Purdue star JuJuan Johnson was honored as the Spalding Pete Newell Big Man of the Year and also received an NABC Senior Achievement Award.
Morehead State's Kenneth Faried, the all-time leading rebounder in NCAA history, received a senior achievement award as well. Smith, Fredette and Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen were honored as well. Faried was also named the Under Armour Defensive Player of theYear.
UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero received the Cliff Wells Appreciation Award and former Missouri head coach Norm Stewart received the Hillyard Golden Anniversary Award.
Other award winners on the night included Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Ray Marquette Award), Ed Bilik of the NCAA (Metropolitan Award), Paul Hewitt (Coaches vs. Cancer Champion Award) and Tom Izzo (Newton S. Hillyard Award).