PRESS RELEASE FROM UCLA:
Ball averaged 14.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game as a freshman. He set the school single-season assists record (274), the second-highest mark in Pac-12 history behind Ahlon Lewis’ total of 294 assists at Arizona State in 1997-98. Ball currently ranks as the nation’s leader in assists per game (7.6) and total assists (274).
Joining Ball as first-team All-America selections were Frank Mason III (Kansas), Josh Hart (Villanova), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) and Justin Jackson (North Carolina). Votes were based on the regular season and conference tournaments.
Second-team All-America selections this season included Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga), Luke Kennard (Duke), Malik Monk (Kentucky), Dillon Brooks (Oregon) and Johnathan Motley (Baylor). Listed as third-team selections are Josh Jackson (Kansas), Markelle Fultz (Washington), Bonzie Colson (Notre Dame), Ethan Happ (Wisconsin) and Lauri Markkanen (Arizona).
UCLA freshman T.J. Leaf was among 38 players who secured honorable mention accolades. Leaf finished his freshman season having averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Ball becomes UCLA’s first player selected as a first-team AP All-American since Kevin Love was a freshman for the Bruins in 2007-08. In addition, he is one four players in the country, along with Hart, Mason III and Swanigan, to have secured consensus first-team All-America acclaim – first-team selections by the AP, Sporting News, the USBWA and the NABC.
A 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, Calif., Ball was named one of five finalists for the John R. Wooden Award by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Monday evening. In addition, he has already been chosen as one of four finalists for this season’s Naismith Trophy, annually awarded to the nation’s premier player by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Ball has been named a first-team All-America selection by numerous prominent national media outlets and publications, including the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, the NABC, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Sporting News and Basketball Times. He has also secured National Freshman of the Year acclaim from the USBWA, USA Today, Sporting News and Bleacher Report.
One of six UCLA players to have averaged double-figure scoring this season, Ball helped guide the Bruins to a 31-5 overall mark and a 15-3 record in Pac-12 action. UCLA concluded its regular-season with a program-record-tying 28 wins before advancing to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the third time in four seasons.