DURHAM, N.C. – Duke forward Jabari Parker has been named the 2014 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award winner as announced by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Monday. The award – a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray – will be presented to Parker at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on Monday, April 14 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
As the national freshman of the year, Parker has led the Blue Devils to a 26-8 record and the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional of the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils open NCAA Tournament play Friday, March 21 against Atlantic Sun champion Mercer (12:15 pm – CBS).
The April 14 gala will also honor Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award. In addition, the Oscar Robertson Trophy – given to the USBWA's national player of the year – and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will be presented at the banquet to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.
Parker, a 6-8, 235-pound freshman from Chicago, is the USBWA's District III Player of the Year, a consensus All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and the conference's Rookie of the Year. He is second in the ACC in scoring (19.3) and is looking to become just the fourth freshman in conference history to lead the league in rebounds (8.8). The first freshman in Duke history to earn first team All-America honors, Parker also leads the ACC with 14 double-doubles on the year.
Parker has scored in double figures in 17 straight games and in 32 of 34 games this season, breaking the Duke freshman record held by Gene Banks and Luol Deng, the 2004 USBWA National Freshman of the Year. Ten times this season Parker was named ACC Rookie of the Week, and the week of Dec. 24, Parker was the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week.
In addition to selecting Parker as the national freshman of the year, the USBWA chose four other first-year standouts for its 2014 Freshman All-America Team. He is joined on the team by Joel Embiid (Kansas), Tyler Ennis (Syracuse), Julius Randle (Kentucky) and Andrew Wiggins (Kansas).
The USBWA has chosen a national freshman of the year since the 1988-89 season when LSU's Chris Jackson was the recipient. Last season, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart became the third winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award. Other notable winners of the national freshman of the year award include Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and Chris Webber.
The late Wayman Tisdale was a three-time USBWA All-American at the University of Oklahoma and in 1983 was the first freshman ever to be named a first-team All-American by the USBWA. Following a stint on the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, he played 12 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 1997 to focus on a blossoming jazz music career. In March 2007, he was diagnosed with cancer and, following a courageous and difficult battle that included the amputation of his right leg in 2008, he passed away in May 2009.
The Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award is produced by Access Sports, an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation responsible for creating the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Access Sports produces all events associated with the award, including the annual awards dinner. Proceeds from the activities affiliated with the award are used to support various worthy charitable causes, including providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth to participate in basketball leagues, clinics, and training throughout the state. In addition, Access Sports supports the Wayman L. Tisdale Foundation which helps fund prosthetics for those who cannot afford the cost on their own and may not be covered by insurance.
Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, email@example.com).
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.