April 5, 2019 / 11:35 PM / 2 months ago

Duke's Williamson named Oscar Robertson Player of the Year

MINNEAPOLIS - Duke freshman Zion Williamson won the Oscar Robertson Trophy, presented to the 2018-19 U.S. Basketball Writers Association player of the year.

Mar 31, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) grabs a rebound against Michigan State Spartans forward Nick Ward (44) and forward Kenny Goins (25) during the first half in the championship game of the east regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Williamson is the eighth Blue Devil to win the trophy and the third freshman (Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, Texas’ Kevin Durant) to claim the honor.

Robertson presented Williamson the bronze trophy, which portrays Robertson’s likeness, Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium in a press conference with Joe Mitch of the USBWA. Williamson was also presented with the AP national player of the year in another ceremony after receiving 59 of a possible 64 first-place votes.

“There are so many other great players across the country that could have won this award,” Williamson said. “This award, I see it as a team award. Without them I wouldn’t be here. I would really like to thank my mom for pushing me after every practice, every game.”

Robertson said Williamson’s footwork caught his attention watching him play this season.

Williamson, who was also a unanimous selection to the 2019 college basketball All-America team on Tuesday, averaged 22.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 blocks per game.

“Talking to Zion in the back, I congratulated him for having such a great year,” Robertson said. “But your best basketball is all in front of you. It’s just exciting for me to sit beside you. You are so humble about the award and this is great. ... I hope you go to the right team. You’re going to be a tremendous star in the NBA.”

Williamson is projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He laughed off suggestions that he wouldn’t play for certain NBA teams after an April 1 report from ESPN hinted he wouldn’t play for the Knicks.

Williamson said he plans to enjoy college and will discuss his next step with his family.

Williamson is the seventh Duke player to win AP player of the year honors. He is the third freshman to claim the AP award, with Davis and Durant again being the other two.

—Field Level Media

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