Trey Burke received John R. Wooden award

Trey Burke received John R. Wooden award

Another Award for Trey Burke

Yesterday I reported that Michigan point guard Trey Burke was voted AP College Basketball Player of the Year.  Today he also received the John R. Wooden award as college basketball’s best player.

He was presented the award by ESPN anchor Rece Davis and John Wooden’s grandson Greg Wooden.  He is the first Michigan player to receive this award since it was established in 1977.

“It means a lot,” Burke said on ESPN. “I’ve always been a team guy but to accept this award means so much to me. I thank God for this blessing, I thank my family and my support system and I thank this guy right here (coach John Beilein), he puts the ball in my hands and he trust me out there. When I’m going through things, he encourages me and allows me to play through things. Last but not least I thank my teammates.”

Beilein was with him as he was when Burke won the USBWA Oscar Robertson Trophy two hours earlier and reminded everyone of what Burke means to his team.

“He’s got a fire in his belly that we spotted from the very beginning,” Beilein said. “Why do his teams win the Ohio state championship. Why do his teams always win, whether it was AAU? He came in right form the beginning with this confidence but this desire to be his best. As we’ve gone along the road together, he’s (helped) his teammates, not by being a yeller and a shouter, more like, I’m here, look at me, I have poise, I have presence, we can do this thing together.”

Burke decided to forego the NBA draft last year to return for his sophomore season as a Wolverine.  He has been the team’s driving force, engineering wins in their biggest games.  He averaged 18.8 points per game, and 6.8 assists.

He will be forever remembered by Michigan fans for a 30 foot 3 pointer against the Kansas Jayhawks which put them into overtime and allowed them to move on to the elite eight where they crushed Florida.  Michigan will play in their first Final Four since 1993.

Burke could receive two more awards.  His name just might be engraved on the Championship trophy, and the MVP award.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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