ROY for Roy!

Few players truly exemplify what it means to be a UW athlete better than former Husky star Brandon Roy, who capped a brilliant rookie season with the Portland Trailblazers by being named the NBA's Rookie of the Year on Wednesday. caught up with Brandon Wednesday afternoon, still buzzing from the announcement.

Coming off a rookie campaign that saw Roy average 16.8 points 4.4 assists and 4 rebounds a game, the former Garfield Bulldog never doubted his chances of being the NBA's top rookie.

"I thought I'd have a chance at being rookie of the year," Roy shared Wednesday after hearing the news. "My expectations were to come in and contribute but not be a ‘go-to' guy my rookie season. After my first month after I came back from my injury, I became the ‘go-to' guy and that really let me know that I could play in the NBA.

"I averaged more points than I every thought I would and I played a bigger role than I ever imagined,"

The award wasn't quite perfect though – he was one vote shy of being a unanimous choice. "I found out who the one guy who didn't vote for me was," Roy said, chuckling. "And I think he's a Toronto Raptors broadcaster who voted for Andre Bargnani."

It was later reported that the Raptors broadcaster who overlooked him was originally from the Northwest.

Maybe he was a Coug.

Beloved former Sonic player/Coach Nate McMillan was the first to call and congratulate Roy after the news was annouced. "Coach Nate called me and left me a message and said he wanted to be the first to officially congratulate me on winning the rookie of the year award," Roy said. "I've been anticipating it for a couple of days but it really made me feel good to hear him say it."

Roy is not letting the award go to his head, but he pondered aloud what the award meant for him in terms of raising the levels of awareness at home as well as in other NBA cities.

"I think it'll change peoples' perception of me," he explained. "But I'm still trying to remain the same guy I've always been and that's humble and hardworking, but I'm still going to be the same Brandon Roy because that's what got me to this level."

In the new era of ‘one-and-done' players like Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, Roy saw his draft stock soar his senior year during the NCAA tournament, and he was quick to point out the main reason he felt he made such a remarkable impact as a NBA rookie.

"I know for a fact that I could have had a good rookie season (a year earlier), but I feel like I had a great rookie year and all that was due to Coach Nate and the way he allowed me to play my game," Roy said. "He allowed me to pretty much play the same way I played my senior year at Washington under Coach (Lorenzo) Romar.

"I don't know if there's such a thing as a perfect situation," he added. "But playing four years at Washington made everything flow smoothly and I was able to come in and be more mature both on and off the court."

True to character, Roy isn't planning on spending his off-season on tropical beaches or Jungle safaris - his plans are much more pedestrian. In other words, very Roy-like.

"No big vacation plans for me," he shared. "I'm just planning on spending time with my new son and my family and trying to relax and give them the time I need."

That's not to say that there haven't been some major lifestyle changes, especially in his wallet. "I think it (money) has affected my life in a positive way because now I am able to provide for my family financially and coming from where I came from, that was always a dream of mine," Roy said.

After a well-deserved mental and physical break, it'll be back to the daily workout for Roy - who isn't planning on letting his stellar first season turn into an aberration.

"As far as the sophomore jinx goes, I don't really get into jinxes and things like that," he said. "My game will be determined by how hard I work this summer.

"Now that I can reflect back on the season, I knew getting to the playoffs would be a tough goal to accomplish and that's probably the only personal goal that I didn't achieve."

"I think we are a playoff team next year," he boldly added. "I'll be disappointed if we don't make the playoffs next year."

Leading his young Blazers to the playoffs isn't Roy's only personal goal next season. He's also got another honor in mind.

"The next thing I'd like to prepare for is the All Star game," he said. "The rookie game was great, but it was kind of like being in the JV game.

"Next year I'd like to play in the Varsity game." Top Stories