USA Basketball Names Aaron Gordon Its 2013 Male Athlete of the Year
Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon (San Jose, Calif.), who helped the USA to a gold medal at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship and suited up for USA Basketball in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit, today was announced as the 2013 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.
“It’s a great honor,” Gordon said. “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.”
Coming off the bench in all nine games at the FIBA U19 World Championship, Gordon averaged team-highs of 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game to go along with 2.0 steals in 18.8 minutes per game, and he was named MVP of the 16-team tournament.
“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 that was going to have to take place for us to win,” said Billy Donovan, USA and University of Florida head coach. “No one was going to score 25 points, no one was going to play 35 minutes, it had to be a collective group effort and their buy-in ability toward that was tremendous.”
Gordon also contributed nine points for the 2013 USA Nike Hoop Summit Team, which fell to the World Select Team 112-98 on April 20 in Portland, Ore.
“USA Basketball has known what a tremendous competitor and teammate Aaron is since he first played for USA Basketball in 2011, and what he accomplished in 2013 was special,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director. “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.”
USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year Award was established in 1980 to recognize a USA Basketball athlete who, during the year of the award, made a significant impact on the success of his team’s performance. The USA Basketball Board of Directors is responsible for selecting USA Basketball’s annual awards.
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year
2013 Aaron Gordon 1996 Scottie Pippen
2012 LeBron James 1995 Ray Allen
2011 Jabari Parker 1994 Shaquille O’Neal
2010 Kevin Durant 1993 Michael Finley
2009 James McAdoo 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team
2008 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team 1991 Christian Laettner
2007 Jason Kidd 1990 Alonzo Mourning
2006 Carmelo Anthony 1989 Larry Johnson
2005 Shelden Williams 1988 Dan Majerle
2004 Sean May & Chris Paul 1987 Danny Manning
2003 Tim Duncan 1986 David Robinson
2002 Reggie Miller 1985 Chuck Person
2001 Chris Duhon 1984 Michael Jordan & Sam Perkins
2000 Alonzo Mourning 1983 Michael Jordan
1999 Gary Payton 1982 Glenn Rivers
1998 Elton Brand 1981 Kevin Boyle
1997 Earl Boykins 1980 Isaiah Thomas
Gordon joins an impressive list of past recipients, including Olympians: Ray Allen (1995), Carmelo Anthony (2006 and as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team), Tim Duncan (2003), Kevin Durant (2010), LeBron James (2012 and as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team), Michael Jordan (1984, 1983 and as a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team), Jason Kidd (2007 and as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team), Christian Laettner (1991), Dan Majerle (1988), Danny Manning (1987), Reggie Miller (2002), Alonzo Mourning (2000, 1990), Shaquille O’Neal (1994), Chris Paul (2004 and as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team), Gary Payton (1999), Sam Perkins (1984), Scottie Pippen (1996 and as a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team), David Robinson (1986 and as a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team) and Isaiah Thomas (1980).
Among all participants in the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, which was played June 27-July 9 in the Czech Republic, Gordon was tied for fourth in steals per game (2.0) and fifth for field goals made per game (5.8) and shooting percentage (.612).
He recorded two double-doubles, including team-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds in a win against China on June 28 and 14 points and 10 rebounds in a victory over Brazil on July 1.
Gordon reached double-digit scoring in six more games, including: 12 points versus Ivory Coast on June 27, 12 points against Russia on June 29, 15 points versus Australia on July 2, 11 points against Serbia on July 3, 12 points versus Canada in the quarterfinals on July 5 and 14 points against Lithuania in the semifinals on July 6.
Also in 2013, Gordon averaged 21.5 points, 16.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game to help his team to a 29-5 record and a California Interscholastic Federation NorCal regional title as a senior at Archbishop Mitty High School in California.
Additionally, he grabbed 22 rebounds on March 15, 2013, to set a CIF NorCal all-division regional finals record, and he finished his prep career as Archbishop Mitty’s career leader for points (2,124), rebounds (1,457) and assists (275).
At the conclusion of the 2012-13 high school season, Gordon was a McDonald’s All-American, and he earned MVP honors at the 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game after tallying 24 points, eight rebounds and two assists on April 3 in Chicago, Ill.
As a freshman at the University of Arizona in 2013-14, Gordon has started in all 17 games to help the Wildcats begin the season with a 17-0 record, and he is averaging 12.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 30.2 minutes per game (as of Jan. 14).
Based in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Basketball, chaired by Jerry Colangelo, is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men's and women's basketball in the United States. As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Basketball is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions.
During the 2009-12 quadrennium, 1,273 male and female players and 235 coaches participated in USA Basketball, including USA Basketball teams and trials, and USA Basketball 3x3 FIBA championships.
USA Basketball men's and women's teams between 2009-12 compiled an impressive 262-35 win-loss record in FIBA and FIBA Americas competitions, the Pan American Games, the World University Games, the Nike Hoop Summit and in exhibition games.
USA teams are the current men's and women's champions in the Olympics; men's and women's FIBA World Championships (Basketball World Cup); men’s and women’s FIBA U19 World Championships; men's and women's FIBA U17 World Championships; men's and women's U18 and U16 FIBA Americas Championships; the FIBA 3x3 Women's World Championship; and the FIBA 3x3 Women's U18 World Championship. USA Basketball currently ranks No. 1 in all five of FIBA's world-ranking categories, including combined, men's, women's, boys and girls.
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