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There was a time this basketball season when media types were wondering if Alabama senior guard Retin Obasohan might make All-Southeastern Conference. The SEC coaches didn’t wonder. Not only did Obasohan earn All-SEC, he was also selected to the SEC All-Defensive team.
Additionally, Obasohan, a native of Antwerp, Belgium, earned the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor.
“It’s far beyond anything I could possibly imagine,” Obasohan said. “It blows my mind still. It’s so surreal. It kind of seemed like a dream. I’m just grateful for the guys I have in that locker room, the coaching staff that I have, and the God that I serve. It’s pretty unreal and I’m excited to even add some more great stuff to this season.”
“I’m so proud of Retin,” Alabama Coach Avery Johnson said. “I got word yesterday and was just really excited for him. I couldn’t wait to tell him (Tuesday). I wanted to be the first one to tell him. Obviously, he couldn’t get all-defensive and been on the first team without his teammates. His teammates do a lot to help him on the floor, but it’s well deserved, well earned. Scholar Athlete of the Year, that’s back-to-back (Levi Randolph won the award in 2015). It’s pretty amazing stuff.
“I’m just honored to be his coach and work with him, just like the rest of our guys, day-in and day-out. He’s definitely had a tremendous leap this year. He’s not finished.”
Obasohan will lead the Crimson Tide into the SEC Tournament in the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville this week. The tournament begins Wednesday with the two bottom teams, Auburn and Tennessee playing. (Missouri, which finished last in the league, is not eligible for the tournament.) Alabama will begin play at 6 p.m. CST Thursday against Ole Miss.
Obasohan is the third player in program history, and the second in as many years, to claim the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, joining former standouts Levi Randolph (2015) and Justin Knox (2009) as past recipients. Furthermore, Obasohan is the second player in program history to be named to both the league’s first team and all-defensive team in the same season. Trevor Releford accomplished that feat in 2013.
Obasohan, the Tide’s senior captain, ranked third in the SEC with an average of 20.6 points per game in league contests on his way to becoming the first player in 30 years to average more than 20 points per game in league play. The last player to accomplish the feat was Buck Johnson, who averaged 20.4 ppg in SEC play during the 1985-86 season. Obasohan finished the conference season ranked third in scoring average, fifth in field goal percentage (.496) and eighth in steals per game (1.4).
Obasohan enters the SEC Tournament leading the Tide and ranking fifth in the SEC with 17.7 points per game. He has collected 14 games of 20 or more points – 11 of which came during SEC play – and 24 double-digit scoring games.
Obasohan was twice named the SEC Player of the Week for the weeks of Feb. 8 and Dec. 14. In doing so, Obasohan became the first Alabama men’s basketball player to earn the recognition twice in the same season since Kennedy Winston in 2004-05.
Texas A&M’s Billy Kennedy, whose team tied for the SEC regular season championship and is the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament, was named SEC Coach of the Year. Kentucky sophomore Tyler Ulis was SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Ben Simmons of LSU was Freshman of the Year. South Carolina’s Duane Notice was SEC Sixth Man of the Year.