KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Duke’s Zion Williamson captured two major awards from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as the NABC Division I Player of the Year powered by ShotTracker and the NABC Freshman of the Year presented by adidas.
De’Andre Hunter of Virginia is the 2019 NABC Defensive Player of the Year presented by Mariott Bonvoy while Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ earned honors as the NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year Award presented by Paramount & Co.
Williamson, Hunter and Happ will receive their awards on Sunday, April 7, at the AT&T NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show at the Main Auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center. The show, which begins at 6:30 p.m. CT, is held during the annual NABC Convention in conjunction with the NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four. The Guardians of the Game Pillar Awards are presented annually for advocacy, education, leadership and service, the four core values of the NABC.
The show will be broadcast live on Stadium (https://watchstadium.com).
The most talked about college basketball player in 2018-19, the 6-7, 285-pound Williamson was a force on both ends of the floor. One of only three players in Atlantic Coast Conference history to win conference honors as player of the year and rookie of the year, he was second in the ACC in scoring (21.6 ppg), third in rebounding (8.8 rpg) and fourth in blocks.
In the four games Duke played in the NCAA tournament, the freshman from Spartanburg, S.C., played 147 minutes, averaging 26 points and six 6.0 rebounds. He was a member of the NABC Division I All-America first team.
Hunter helped the Cavaliers to their first Final Four since 1984 with an overtime win over Purdue in the Elite Eight round. A lock-down defender, the 6-7 redshirt sophomore from Philadelphia, Pa., was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a second team selection on the NABC Division I All-America team. Hunter started all 38 games this season, was second in scoring and rebounding for Virginia while helping Virginia lead the nation in fewest points allowed (54.6 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.374).
Happ, a redshirt senior, capped an outstanding career with Wisconsin this season, earning second team All-America honors from the NABC and first team All-Big Ten recognition. The 6-10, 237-pound big man from Milan, Ill., was fifth in the Big Ten in scoring (17.3 ppg), and third in rebounding (10.1 rpg) and assists (4.5).