McDermott will be officially presented the Oscar Robertson Trophy by its namesake, the legendary Oscar Robertson, on Mon., April 14 at theDevon Energy College Basketball Awards gala at National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
"It's an unbelievable honor," McDermott said. "I was not old enough to see Oscar play, but I always heard from my father and grandfather how great he was."
The 6-8, 225-pounder from Ames Iowa, becomes the first USBWA national player of the year from Creighton and just the third from a Big East Conference school. Chris Mullin and Walter Berry, both from St. John's, won back-to-back player of the year awards in 1985-86. The 2013-14 season marked Creighton's first season in the Big East.
A three-time USBWA All-American and two-time USBWA District VI Player of the Year, McDermott was chosen as the national player of the year based on regular-season performance. He is just the 19th player to earn three-time All-America honors from the USBWA and the first since Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina (2007-09)
The Big East Player of the Year finished a remarkable collegiate career with 3,150 points, fifth-most in NCAA history. He leads the nation in scoring (26.7) and shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 44.9 percent from three-point range, and 86.4 percent from the free-throw line. He also averaged 7.0 rebounds per game. Twice this season – and four times in his career – he was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by the USBWA. On March 8, in a 45-point performance against Providence on Senior Night, McDermott passed Oscar Robertson on the NCAA's career scoring list and became just the eighth player to score 3,000 career points. Playing for his father, coach Greg McDermott, he scored 30-plus points in 13 of 35 games while averaging 33.7 minutes per game in a 28-7 season.
"He's a naturally gifted player, and he got a lot of that from his dad. But he's going to get better," Oscar Robertson said. "What he did in college, he's going to do more in the pros."
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by the entire membership of the association, which consists of more than 900 journalists. It is the nation's oldest award and the only one named after a former player. The legendary Oscar Robertson was the USBWA's first player of the year in 1959 and was the consensus national player of the year as a sophomore in 1958, the year before USBWA started giving its player of the year award. The USBWA renamed the award the Oscar Robertson Trophy in 1998.
Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515,firstname.lastname@example.org). The April 14 banquet will also honor Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall with the Henry Iba Award as the national coach of the year, Duke forward Jabari Parker with the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award as the national freshman of the year and Kansas coach Bill Self as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.
• Oscar Robertson Trophy