Hansbrough wins Wooden Award, sweeping major individual honors

Updated: April 12, 2008, 12:58 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- He already earned an armful, but Tyler Hansbrough took one last bit of brass Friday night.

The North Carolina junior won the John R. Wooden Award as college basketball's top player, giving him essentially a sweep of the season's individual honors, including The Associated Press college basketball player of the year award.

He beat out second-place Michael Beasley of Kansas State, who was followed by Kevin Love of UCLA and D.J. Augustin of Texas and Stephen Curry of Davidson in the voting.

Tennessee's Candace Parker, who led the Volunteers to their second-straight national championship on Tuesday, won the women's award for the second straight year.

More than 1,000 national media and college basketball experts cast votes based on players' regular and postseason performances, character and academic performance. Unlike most player of the year awards, votes could be cast as late as the NCAA Tournament's regional round.

Hansbrough led the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring (22.8) and rebounding (10.3) as the Tar Heels (36-2) were ranked No. 1 for all but six weeks this season and went to the Final Four.

The NCAA title was the one trophy he was denied, which may influence his decision whether to forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft. He has revealed very little about his plans for next season.

Hansbrough joined Phil Ford (1978), Michael Jordan (1984) and Antawn Jamison (1998) as national players of the year from North Carolina.

Hansbrough more than assured he will have his jersey retired in Chapel Hill along with those three and James Worthy.

For a North Carolina men's player to have his jersey retired, he must win at least one of six national player of the year awards: The Associated Press, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Sporting News, the Naismith Award and the Wooden Award.

Hansbrough has won all six.

Parker's win capped off a huge week for the 6-foot-4 junior.

She was already in Los Angeles where she was introduced Friday by the L.A. Sparks, who made her the No. 1 pick in Wednesday's WNBA draft.

The awards are named for the former UCLA coach who guided the Bruins to 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year span before retiring in 1975.

For the third time since the inception of the award, Wooden didn't attend the ceremony. The Wooden family announced in August 2005 that he would no longer participate because of a trademark dispute concerning the use of his name.

The 97-year-old coach was recently hospitalized after breaking his left wrist and collarbone in a fall at home on Feb. 29.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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