Wildcats' Gordon named USA Basketball's athlete of year

2014-01-14T10:02:00Z 2014-01-14T11:02:58Z Wildcats' Gordon named USA Basketball's athlete of yearBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Arizona Wildcats freshman Aaron Gordon was named USA Basketball’s male Athlete of the Year today, after he led the USA to the U19 World Championship last summer.

The honor is given to the top player at all levels of the organization, which also operated a World University Games team last year and a number of national teams for younger players.

"It's a great honor," Gordon said in a statement. "USA Basketball is a really good program. I respect everybody associated with USA Basketball so for them to recognize me as male athlete of the year is an incredible feeling."

Gordon led USA Basketball to a 9-0 record in the U19 tournament with 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game despite being just 17 at the time.

The U19 victory was considered a big one for USA Basketball, which has won the event only three times in the eight championships played since 1987.

"Aaron is a great player and the thing I really give him and the rest of the players credit for is that every single one of those guys is a high-profile player and they all knew going in that there was going to be some form of sacrifice," said Florida coach Billy Donovan, the USA's U19 coach last summer. "No one was going to score 25 points, no one was going to play 35 minutes, and it had to be a collective group effort, and their buy-in ability toward that was tremendous."

Gordon also played for USA Basketball’s Hoop Summit team, with nine points and one rebound against a team of young international stars in the April event at Portland, Ore.

Previously, Gordon played for USA Basketball’s U17 and U16 teams, leading the U17 team with averages of 17.0 points and 11.2 rebounds.

"USA Basketball has know what a tremendous competitor and teammate Aaron Gordon is since he first played for USA Basketball in 2011, and what he accomplished in 2013 is special," said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball's CEO. "To earn MVP of the U19 tournament is remarkable and to do it while coming off the bench is incredible. We are very proud to recognize his performance with this award."

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Pac-12 basketball standings

  Conference Overall
Team W L T PCT W L T PCT
Arizona 7 1 0 0.875 19 2 0 0.905
Utah 6 2 0 0.750 16 4 0 0.800
Stanford 6 2 0 0.750 15 5 0 0.750
Oregon State 5 3 0 0.625 13 6 0 0.684
Colorado 4 4 0 0.500 11 8 0 0.579
Oregon 4 4 0 0.500 14 7 0 0.667
UCLA 4 4 0 0.500 12 9 0 0.571
Washington 3 5 0 0.375 14 6 0 0.700
Washington State 3 5 0 0.375 9 11 0 0.450
Arizona State 3 5 0 0.375 12 10 0 0.545
California 2 6 0 0.250 12 9 0 0.571
USC 1 7 0 0.125 9 11 0 0.450

AP Top 25


Pac-12 basketball schedule

Teams Date Time
Colorado at
USC
1/29 98-94
Utah at
UCLA
1/29 59-69
California at
Washington State
1/29 76-67
Oregon at
Arizona State
1/30 6:00 pm
Oregon State at
Arizona
1/30 8:00 pm
Stanford at
Washington State
1/31 6:00 pm
Colorado at
UCLA
1/31 8:30 pm
Utah at
USC
2/1 12:30 pm
California at
Washington
2/1 1:00 pm
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