Grant Williams named Naismith Trophy Player of the Year Finalist

Orange & White Nation
Grant Williams

After being named SEC Player of the Year two years running, Tennessee’s Grant Williams has been named to a shortlist for a prestigious college basketball award. 

The 6’7″ junior was named a 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year Finalist on Tuesday. Williams joins Duke’s freshman phenom Zion Williamson, Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura and Ja Morant of Murray State. 

Williams has been one of the nation’s most all-around players this year, averaging 19.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. 

He led the SEC in scoring and his 57 percent field goal percentage was the second in the SEC. He ranked fourth in the SEC in free-throw percentage, sixth in rebounding and ninth in assist/turnover ratio. 

The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has been named SEC Player of the Year and a first-team All-SEC performer—both for the second straight season. He was also named to the SEC Community Service Team, SEC All-Tournament Team, United States Basketball Writers Association District IV Player of the Year and is a first-team All-American by Sporting News and the USBWA.

The 2019 Citizen Naismith Trophy will be awarded on at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 7, 2019, during the Final Four in Minneapolis.

The Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the women’s and men’s college basketball players of the year. First awarded in 1969 to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Naismith Trophy has become one of the most prestigious national honors awarded each year to the top players in the nation.

Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, the founder of the sport, Tennessee has never had a player win the award. 

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