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Shelden Williams Named NABC National Defensive Player of the Year
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 04/03/2005
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April 3, 2005

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Duke junior Shelden Williams was named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year on Sunday, April 3, in St. Louis, Mo. Williams, a 6'9" forward, is the eighth Blue Devil to claim the 19-year old award, joining Tommy Amaker (1987), Billy King (1988), Grant Hill (1993), Steve Wojciechowski (1998) and Shane Battier (1999, 2000 & 2001).

"Shelden is a different type of defensive player than we have had in the past, but he is definitely up there with the other Duke standouts who have claimed National Defensive Player of the Year honors," said head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "He's the best shot blocker I've coached and with our team this year he was the main reason we were a good defensive team. Shelden really anchored our defense and winning the award is a great honor for him."

Williams closed the season with a school record 122 blocked shots, surpassing his total of 111 from last season. He currently ranks second on Duke's career charts with 285 rejections and eighth all-time in the ACC with 2.77 blocks per game. In 2004-05, Williams set a Blue Devil single-season record by averaging 3.7 blocks per game. The Forest Park, Okla., native blocked at least one shot in 32 of Duke's 33 games and registered three or more blocked shots on 23 occasions. Williams also closed the year with a team-high 242 defensive rebounds and third on the team with 42 steals.

"It is an honor to be named the National Defensive Player of the Year and have my name up there with a lot of great players," Williams said. "I have been blessed with a great opportunity here at Duke. I can't really explain the feeling of just being a part of the great list of guys before me. This is an outstanding honor. I was chosen over a lot of other deserving players and I am blessed to be selected for this award."

Williams has earned second team All-America honors from and third team All-America accolades from AP this season. He was also the 2005 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-ACC and ACC All-Tournament team selection. Williams closed the year averaging an ACC-leading 11.2 rebounds per game, while also leading the league in blocked shots (122) and defensive rebounds (7.33 pg.). He was also a presence on the offensive end of the floor, finishing the year ranked tied for 11th in the league in scoring (15.5 ppg.) and second in field goal percentage (.582).

NABC Defensive Players of the Year

1987    Tommy Amaker          Duke
1988    Billy King            Duke
1989    Stacey Augmon         UNLV
1990    Stacey Augmon         UNLV
1991    Stacey Augmon         UNLV
1992    Alonzo Mourning       Georgetown
1993    Grant Hill            Duke
1994    Jim McIlvaine         Marquette
1995    Tim Duncan            Wake Forest
1996    Tim Duncan            Wake Forest
1997    Tim Duncan            Wake Forest
1998    Steve Wojciechowski   Duke
1999    Shane Battier         Duke
2000    Kenyon Martin         Cincinatti
        Shane Battier         Duke
2001    Shane Battier         Duke
2002    John Linehan          Providence
2003    Emeka Okafor          Connecticut
2004    Emeka Okafor          Connecticut
2005    Shelden Williams      Duke