Oklahoma Sooners guard Buddy Hield wins John Wooden Award

Hield adds Wooden Award to long list of senior year honors

Buddy Hield led the NCAA Tournament in scoring and took Oklahoma to the Final Four for only the fifth time in program history.

He was named the Naismith Trophy winner as the most outstanding college basketball player and earned a second-straight Big 12 Conference Player of the Year honors – only the second time in conference history.

Hield was a first-team unanimous All-American and averaged the second-most points in the nation this season, while becoming the Big 12 Conference’s all-time leading scorer and rising up the Oklahoma all-time scoring list.

On Friday, Hield added another honor to that list.

He was named the Wooden Award winner, giving annually to the best player in the country.

“I just want to thank God for blessing me,” Hield said Friday night on the ESPN telecast award show.

Hield joins Blake Griffin as Oklahoma’s only two winners of the award. The other Wooden Award finalists were Denzel Valentine (Michigan State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Brice Johnson (North Carolina) and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky).

Hield finished first among Power 5 Conference players in scoring this season. He was the only player in the country who averaged 25 points and five rebounds per game. Hield scored 30 points in 12 different games, more than the rest of the Big 12 combined.

“Buddy is very special,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said on the ESPN telecast Friday night.

After returning for his senior season at Oklahoma, Hield went from possible second-round pick to an almost guaranteed lottery selection. Some mock draft boards have Hield as high as No. 3 overall. Hield also received the Jerry West Award, given to the nation’s top shooting guard.

“It’s been special,” Hield said of returning for his senior season from Los Angeles during the ESPN award show “I wouldn’t trade it for nothing in the world. Thank God I came back. I’ll tell you that.”

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories