"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."
Now, Ford is numbered among the celebrated ranks of recipients (a veritable Whos Who among the greats who ever played the game) including Lew Alcindor (UCLA); Pete Maravich (LSU); Bill Walton (UCLA); Larry Bird (Indiana State); Michael Jordan (North Carolina); Patrick Ewing (Georgetown); David Robinson (Navy) and Tim Duncan (Wake Forest).
Ford has already been named NCAA Division I basketball Player of the Year by both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News magazine. He 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).
Last season, Ford became the first freshman in NCAA history to lead the nation in assists (8.27 apg). His 7.40 average paced the Big 12 this year. 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 named for the inventor of basketball, Dr. James Naismith. Its Board of Selectors is comprised of a group of leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators.