Kaminsky named Wooden Award finalist and All-American - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Kaminsky named Wooden Award finalist and All-American

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MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin men's basketball senior Frank Kaminsky was named a finalist for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award, as announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Monday.

Amidst one of the best seasons in program history, Kaminsky was not only named as a finalist for the Wooden Award, but was also selected to the Wooden Award All-America Team. He joins Devin Harris (2004) and Alando Tucker (2007) as the only Badgers to be named John Wooden All-Americans.

The 39th annual Wooden Award ceremony will honor and reveal the men's and women's Wooden Award winners, and will include the presentation of the Wooden Award All-America Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award. The event will take place on Friday, April 10, as part of the first-ever College Basketball Awards Show Presented by Wendy's.

The 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year, Kaminsky became a consensus first-team All-American after receiving first-team nods from the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the United States Basketball Writers Association and Sporting News. He is the second Badger, joining Tucker (2007), to become a consensus All-American at Wisconsin in the last 70 years.

Just the third preseason AP All-American in school history, Kaminsky validated the early accolades and currently leads the Badgers in points (18.7), rebounds (8.0), assists (99), blocks (54), field goal percentage (.549) and 3-point field goal percentage (.415).

Having led Wisconsin to the Final Four for the second-straight season, the native of Lisle, Illinois, is averaging 22.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 51.7 percent field goal shooting and 62.5 percent 3-point shooting through four NCAA tournament games this year.

Top-seeded Wisconsin is set to face fellow No. 1 seed Kentucky in the national semifinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, at approximately 7:49 p.m. (CT) Saturday.

Voting for the John R. Wooden Award began March 16, and voters, consisting of nearly 1,000 members of the national college basketball media, were allowed to take into consideration the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. Voting officially ended March 23.

Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. Previous winners include such notables as Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97) and Kevin Durant ('09). Creighton's Doug McDermott won the 2014 Wooden Award.

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MADISON, Wis. – Few players in the country had a breakout season like Frank Kaminsky did last year. The Wisconsin senior proved it was no fluke, playing out one of the best seasons in program history in 2014-15 en route to being named first-team All-America by the Associated Press on Monday


One of five All-Americans recognized by the AP, Kaminsky was the only to earn unanimous selection. The Lisle, Illinois, native joins Alando Tucker (2007) as the only AP first-team All-Americans at Wisconsin.

"It's cool to be named first-team All-American. It's something you dream of as a kid," Kaminsky said. "To finally be able to do so, it's a good thing and it shows how hard I've worked in my career. To be up there with Alando Tucker is a pretty cool thing."

Combined with first-team nods by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, United States Basketball Writers Association and Sporting News, the AP honor makes Kaminsky a consensus first-team All-American. Wisconsin has had 18 individuals earn a total of 21 consensus first-team All-America honors. UW's 18 consensus All-Americans ranks third among all Division I schools.

Just the third preseason AP All-American in school history, Kaminsky validated the early accolades by winning 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year and producing a resume worthy of National Player of the Year consideration. This season, Kaminsky leads the Badgers in points (18.7), rebounds (8.0), assists (99), blocks (54), field goal percentage (.549) and 3-point field goal percentage (.415).

The 7-footer hasn't shied away from the big stage, either. Kaminsky has led Wisconsin in back-to-back Final Four runs, including an average of 22.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 51.7 percent field goal shooting and 62.5 percent 3-point shooting through four NCAA tournament games this year.

"Not to be overly patriotic, but we're an American story, that you can do that in this kind of a system," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "Sometimes where it looks like the privileged, the ones that are identified as being great players and can't-miss-type guys, where there can always come that guy from behind in the race and then cross the tape first.

"Frank is that guy who got a little bit later start as far as people noticing his abilities, but that's just a great accomplishment on his part. ... He took advantage of a chance and has made the most of it."
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