Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is the 2016 Naismith Trophy Award winner for men’s basketball.
The Sooners sensational senior recorded one of the best shooting seasons in recent college basketball history to lead his squad to this weekend’s Final Four.
Hield received the award at a ceremony on Sunday morning in downtown Houston, less than 24 hours after Oklahoma lost to Villanova in the national semifinal.
Despite being a likely first round pick in last June’s NBA draft, Hield elected to return for his senior season and electrified the nation with spectacular shooting coupled with a fun-loving, vivacious spirit while playing the game.
A native of the Bahamas, Hield grew up shooting on a makeshift basket on a dirt court. Over the course of his career he developed from a spindly defensive specialist into a deadly accurate perimeter threat. In the loss to Villanova on Saturday night, he became the Big 12 career scoring leader with 2291 points. He won the conference’s Player of the Year award for the second consecutive season by leading the Sooners to a 29-8 record, the program’s most wins since 2009.
He was second in the nation in scoring (25.0 points per game) and made 147 3-pointers, which was 22 more than anyone in the nation.
Hield had several signature performances throughout the season, seizing the national spotlight with a 46-point outburst in the Sooners triple-overtime loss to Kansas on Jan. 2nd. Despite being the target of opposing defenses, some of his best games occurred in the postseason. He scored 39 against Iowa State in the Big 12 conference tournament and had the two highest totals in the NCAA tournament with 36 points against VCU and 37 in the West Regional final against Oregon.
For the season, Hield had 12 games of 30 points or more and shot 48 percent from the field.