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Oklahoma’s Hield and UConn’s Stewart win Wooden Awards

Buddy Hield

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) goes up for a basket against VCU in the second half during a second-round men’s college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 20, 2016. Oklahoma won 85-81. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)


LOS ANGELES (AP) Buddy Hield of Oklahoma and Breanna Stewart of four-time national champion Connecticut won the John R. Wooden Award as national college basketball players of the year Friday night.

Hield also claimed the Jerry West shooting guard of the year award, having led Division I with 147 3-pointers made. He finished second in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.0 points, while taking his team to the Final Four in his senior year.

Stewart capped her college career with her second straight Wooden Award, to go with her four most outstanding player trophies from the Final Four.

They received their trophies during the second College Basketball Awards in a nationally televised show from The Novo in downtown Los Angeles.

Hield won the Wooden Award over Malcolm Brogdon of Virginia, Brice Johnson of North Carolina, Tyler Ulis of Kentucky and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State.

Hield hugged his mother before taking the stage to accept his second trophy of the night.

“It’s been fun and I can’t be more blessed to be around college basketball,” he said. “I can’t be prouder and I thank my family for supporting me through the whole journey.”

Hield explained how he built his own hoop in the Bahamas, where he grew up, using plywood and stolen nails.

“It was tough, but I got it up and asked my brother to help me,” he said.

Stewart claimed the women’s award over Rachel Banham of Minnesota, Moriah Jefferson of UConn, Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State and A’ja Wilson of South Carolina. She accepted the trophy from Hall of Famer Ann Meyers Drysdale as Wooden’s daughter, Nan, looked on.

Stewart lost just five games in her four-year career. As a freshman, she had predicted the Huskies would win four straight national titles.

“I don’t regret it, but it wasn’t easy, that’s for sure,” she said.

Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith received the Wooden Legends of Coaching award. He is one of two coaches to lead five different schools to the NCAA Tournament.

Other winners were:

- Ulis, Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year. The sophomore set a school record by averaging 7.0 assists in a single season.

- Valentine, Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year. The senior had 20 games with at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, and led the Big Ten in double-doubles with 12.

- Georges Niang of Iowa State, Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year. He averaged 20.5 points and 6.2 rebounds.

- Jakob Poeltl of Utah, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year. The 7-foot sophomore was the Pac-12 player of the year.