Ford Adds Wooden Award To Trophy Case

Sophomore point guard <B>T.J. Ford </B>won the John R. Wooden Award at the Los Angeles Athletic Club Saturday, a day after picking up the Naismith Award in Atlanta. Both trophies are presented to college basketball&#146;s most outstanding athlete.

Ford finished ahead of upperclassmen David West (Xavier), Hollis Price (Oklahoma), Nick Collison (Kansas) and Dwayne Wade (Marquette). On hand for the presentation were Ford’s parents and Texas head coach Rick Barnes. The first Texas player to win the Wooden Award in its 27-year history, Ford now joins the ranks of previous recipients that include Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.

"T.J. is a person that, as you get to know him, is a very simple person," Barnes said. "I say that in a most positive way in that he’s all about wanting to win. If you were to go to Houston while he was still in high school, everyone in Houston knew him simply as T.J. If you watched T.J. throughout his career, the one thing he always did was lead, but he does it in a very quiet and unassuming way."

Ford and Barnes return to Austin on Monday afternoon for the annual Texas Basketball Banquet. Festivities are set to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Frank Erwin Center.

A consensus first-team All-America selection, Ford led the team in scoring (15.0 ppg), assists (7.7 apg), steals (2.0 spg), free throw percentage (.820) and minutes (33.6 mpg). He ranks second on UT's all-time career assist list (527). In addition to the Naismith Award, Ford was both Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News selection as National Player of the Year.

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