Burke wins Naismith Trophy; becomes first Michigan player to receive honor
ATLANTA -– Trey Burke led Michigan to its first NCAA Final Four appearance since the “Fab Five” accomplished the feat back-to-back 20 years ago. He has now achieved what no member of that famous quintet ever did.
On Sunday, the Atlanta Tipoff Club named Burke winner of the 2013 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T as the men’s college basketball player of the year, solidifying the sophomore point guard’s place in school history as the first Wolverine to receive the prestigious award.
He becomes the fifth player in Big Ten history to claim the award, following Ohio State’s Evan Turner (2010), Purdue’s Glenn Robinson (1994), and Indiana’s Calbert Cheaney (1993) and Scott May (1976). Burke was honored at the AT&T National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Guardians of the Game Awards Show at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Other finalists for the 2013 award included Creighton junior Doug McDermott, Indiana junior Victor Oladipo and Georgetown sophomore Otto Porter, Jr.
Burke adds to his impressive list of conference awards this season, including the 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten honors. Burke, a sophomore point guard finished 2012-13 Big Ten conference play as the leader in points scored and assists per game and was the only player to score 15 points or more in all 18 conference games.
Burke surpassed the University of Michigan’s single season assist record holder, Darius Morris, on Saturday, March 23 during his team’s second round win over Virginia Commonwealth University in the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. He has the Wolverines on the verge of a national championship as they square off against Louisville on Monday night.
“Trey had one of those magical seasons where his individual production yielded tremendous results, and his team achieved remarkable success in getting to the Final Four,” Eric Oberman, Atlanta Tipoff Club Executive Director said. “He is a wonderful ambassador for college basketball and a worthy winner of the Naismith Trophy.”
Michigan coach John Beilein said, “Trey is a selfless player who works hard to make his teammates better every day. He has provided tremendous leadership all season long and has played at an extremely high level every game. Trey is a joy to coach and we are fortunate to have him as a floor leader. Trey is a great ambassador for the University of Michigan and will represent the Naismith Trophy with great pride.”
Burke was chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, which based its selection on individual performances throughout the 2013 men’s college basketball season, and by fans, who were eligible to vote via a mobile phone voting program from March 25 through April 6. For the ninth year, fans have contributed to the selection of the Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Trophy presented by AT&T. The fan vote accounts for 25 percent of the vote totals. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti& Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
“We congratulate and thank all of this year’s nominees, especially trophy recipient Trey Burke for his leadership, sportsmanship and memorable performances,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “We are honored to welcome Trey into this elite group of athletes and thank the fans for their active participation in this close race.”
Other notable Naismith Trophy alumni include a pair of three-time winners in Bill Walton (1972, ‘73, ‘74) and Ralph Sampson (1981, ‘82, ‘83), Michael Jordan (1984), Kevin Durant (2007) and last year’s winner, Anthony Davis of Kentucky. The Naismith Men’s College Player of the Year Trophy presented by AT&T is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball’s best player.