March 24, 2003
ATLANTA, Ga. - University of Texas sophomore point guard T.J. Ford (Houston, Texas) has been named the 2003 Naismith College Basketball Male Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Monday.
The Naismith Collegiate Player of the Year Trophy will be presented to Ford during the Naismith Awards Banquet, scheduled for Friday, April 11 in Atlanta.
"My teammates should share in this honor, as none of our program's success would be possible without them," Ford said. "This honor means a lot to me. When I took a look at the list of names who have won the award in the past, I was humbled. It does show that hard work pays off."
Ford leads the No. 5 Longhorns in scoring (15.0 ppg), assists (7.40 apg), steals (1.96 spg), free throw percentage (.810) and minutes (33.5 mpg). He ranks second on UT's all-time career assist list (495). Ford has recorded seven double-digit assist performances this season and 22 in his two-year career.
The Naismith Awards are given in honor of the inventor of the game of basketball, Dr. James Naismith. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. The Awards, including Men's and Women's College Player of the Year, Men's and Women's Coach of the Year, Male and Female Prep Player of the Year and Men's and Women's Official of the Year, are determined by a vote of the Naismith Board of Selectors. In addition, the Board of Selectors, comprised of a select group of leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators, honors a Men's and Women's Outstanding Contributor to Basketball.
Ford becomes the first University of Texas male winner in the 35-year history of the award. Former UT star Clarissa Davis earned the Naismith Female College Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.
The Coca-Cola Company is the presenting sponsor of the Naismith College Basketball Awards for 2003. The entitlement compliments the Company's new 11-year NCAA partnership as a Corporate Champion.
Naismith Male College Players of the Year
1969, Lew Alcindor (UCLA); 1970, Pete Maravich (LSU); 1971, Austin Carr (Notre Dame); 1972, Bill Walton (UCLA); 1973, Bill Walton (UCLA); 1974 Bill Walton (UCLA); 1975, David Thompson (N.C. State); 1976, Scott May (Indiana); 1977, Marques Johnson (UCLA); 1978, Butch Lee (Marquette); 1979, Larry Bird (Indiana State); 1980, Mark Aguirre (DePaul); 1981, Ralph Sampson (Virginia); 1982, Ralph Sampson (Virginia); 1983, Ralph Sampson (Virginia); 1984, Michael Jordan (North Carolina); 1985, Patrick Ewing (Georgetown); 1986, Johnny Dawkins (Duke); 1987, David Robinson (Navy); 1988, Danny Manning (Kansas); 1989, Danny Ferry (Duke); 1990, Lionel Simmons (LaSalle); 1991, Larry Johnson (UNLV); 1992, Christian Laettner (Duke); 1993, Calbert Cheaney (Indiana); 1994, Glenn Robinson (Purdue); 1995, Joe Smith (Maryland); 1996, Marcus Camby (UMass); 1997, Tim Duncan (Wake Forest); 1998, Antawn Jamison (North Carolina); 1999, Elton Brand (Duke); 2000, Kenyon Martin (Cincinnati); 2001, Shane Battier (Duke); 2002, Jason Williams (Duke); 2003, T.J. Ford (TEXAS).