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Nobody better: Kaminsky wins Wooden Award, sweeps player of the year honors

first_imgNow, there’s no doubt that Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky is the best player in all of college basketball.With four national Player of the Year awards already won, Kaminsky capped off a remarkable postseason awards list Friday night, winning the Wooden Award – given to the nation’s top player each season – Friday night in Los Angeles.“This has all become pretty overwhelming, but it’s a tremendous honor and I’m humbled by all of the attention,” Kaminsky said. “Winning the Wooden Award and all of the others is something you dream about, but rarely is a reality.Kaminsky won the award over Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant, Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell.The award marks Kaminsky’s fifth Player of the Year accolade. The 7-footer was already named the Associated Press Player of the Year, the Naismith Player of the Year, the USBWA Oscar Robertson Player of the Year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year.Jenna Freeman/The Badger HeraldAs a senior, Kaminsky averaged team-highs in points (18.8), rebounds (8.2), assists (2.64), field goal percentage (54.7 percent) and blocks (57) for Wisconsin and was one steal shy of the team lead with 33.Kaminsky was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and was a unanimous selection for the all-Big Ten first-team. He was also named an AP All-American and a Wooden All-American.In six NCAA tournament games this season, Kaminsky averaged 22 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while leading the Badgers back to the Final Four for the second-consecutive season and into the national championship game for the first time in 74 years.The Lisle, Illinois native failed to reach double-figures in scoring only once this season while eclipsing the 20-point mark 17 times. He also had 14 double-doubles this season, including three in six NCAA tournament games and back-to-back double-doubles at the Final Four.Kaminsky ended his career as a Badger with 1,458 points which is good for 9th on the all-time scoring list at Wisconsin while his 732 points scored this past season were the most in school history. His 153 career blocks are also a program record. He is only the second player in Wisconsin history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks.Kaminsky still owns the school record for points in a game after he scored 43 against North Dakota on Nov. 19, 2013.“I’m grateful for everyone who has helped me along the way, my family, teammates, coaches, staff and Badgers fans everywhere. My career at Wisconsin has been more than I could have imagined and I will always take the memories and friendships with me wherever I go.”Men’s basketball: Dekker to enter NBA draft, forgo senior season at WisconsinThe Wisconsin men’s basketball team will be without its top two scorers from the 2014-15 season that saw it advance Read…Along with junior forward Sam Dekker, who announced he is forgoing his senior season to enter the NBA draft Friday, Kaminsky is expected to be a mid-first round draft pick in the NBA draft on June 25th.last_img read more

Deontay Wilder still optimistic for eventual fights vs. Joshua, Fury: ‘We want to see the best fight the best’

first_imgNEW YORK — Deontay Wilder took the podium at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Tuesday, relegating his mandatory WBC title defense against Dominic Breazeale on May 18 to getting rid of that pesky fly that’s “always buzzing in your ear.”While Wilder attempts to swat that fly, as he put it, he knows he’s a lion in the heavyweight landscape. With his decision to stay put with Showtime, and Anthony Joshua fighting on DAZN, the chances for the highly-anticipated clash to decide an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world will likely be delayed. The same goes for a Wilder-Tyson Fury rematch, which was already delayed and scrapped, altogether, once the latter signed with Top Rank/ESPN. That’s three lions worlds apart. Yet, Wilder doesn’t think fight fans will have to wait much longer to see them clash.Watch Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell Miller on June 1 on DAZN“I don’t really think it’s going to be that long, to be honest,” Wilder told Sporting News following the press conference. “It’s going to take some time, but I don’t think it’s going to be a long, drawn-out thing.“Once these networks start coming together and realize that everyone is better together than separated … it’s so many egos, so many different things in boxing that [keeps] the best fights from happening,” he continued. “In the heavyweight division, I can promise you that [everything] in our power — when I say our power, meaning my team because we are one — we want what you guys want. We want the best to fight the best.”Throughout this whole ordeal of trying to cement a fight with Joshua or Fury, Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) believes he’s unfairly been typecast as the fighter who should cave in and meet the demands of the others to make the fights happen. That isn’t going to fly with “The Bronze Bomber.”“These guys chose their path, I’m the last man,” Wilder said, referencing Joshua choosing to fight on DAZN and Fury signing with Top Rank/ESPN just last month before he decided to stick with Showtime. “Now, people are expecting me to do the noble thing and give the fans what they want. I’ve been giving ya’ll what ya’ll want. How many times I gotta be the last one to submit to everyone? Why I gotta be the only one to say ‘I’m gonna do it to give people what they want?’ No. It’s not going to happen like that. I’m my own man.”That being said, there’s still daylight in trying to make a Joshua-Wilder fight happen sooner than later, according to Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s manager and advisor.“He’s able to move anywhere he wants. He controls it,” Finkel, said. “He doesn’t need to be part of DAZN, he doesn’t need to be part of ESPN. If there’s a joint promotion, who he chooses, that can happen. So, he has that flexibility. Nobody else in the heavyweight division has that flexibility.”Showtime president Stephen Espinoza kept mum about the details of Wilder’s contract with the network, but told SN: “We’ve got a deal in place and we’re continuing to discuss long term with Deontay. His goals continue to be a Joshua fight and a Fury rematch. The question is how can we make this happen? And I think we need a little bit more cooperation from the other side. We’ve been talking different languages.”MORE: Anthony Joshua tops boxing industry pollSo, while fight fans continue to patiently wait for a Wilder-Joshua fight or Wilder-Fury rematch, a Wilder-Breazeale matchup on May 18 followed by a Joshua-Jarrell Miller fight on June 1 await.Both are seeped in bad blood. Miller shoved Joshua during a press conference last month to formally announce the fight, paving the way for memorable choice words to be exchanged between the heavyweights.Back in February 2017, both Wilder and Breazeale shared a card in Birmingham, Ala. In the aftermath of Wilder knocking out Gerald Washington and Breazeale knocking out Izuagbe Ugonoh, Breazeale claims Wilder and his crew confronted him when he was with his wife and kids in a hotel lobby. Wilder claims his younger brother, also a boxer, Marsellos, dropped Breazeale during the incident, which he says could’ve gone a lot worse for the Eastvale, Calif., product.“You got dropped by a cruiserweight,” Wilder said toward Breazeale during Tuesday’s press conference, before proceeding to yell at his opponent the entire length of the faceoff and beyond. Deontay Wilder literally talked to Dominic Breazeale for the entire faceoff.#WilderBreazeale pic.twitter.com/OsGxFZ1r1N— Sporting News Fights (@sn_fights) March 19, 2019 Breazeale would later tell Sporting News: “I know he ran from me for a long time — at least a year and a half. He’s got everything to lose and I got everything to gain.” That latter part is true. But if Wilder defeats Breazeale — as expected — perhaps he’ll stick around in New York City a bit longer to catch the Joshua-Miller bout at Madison Square Garden two weeks later. After all, that’s the confrontation fight fans and the media alike want to see.With their fights so close in succession, there’ll likely be a strong public outcry to make the mega fight happen in the fall. Of course, that means the two sides of the street reaching common ground. And as we’ve seen in the past, accomplishing that is easier said than done.Editor’s note: Sporting News is one of the digital media brands operated by DAZN Group.last_img read more