INDIANAPOLIS, IND. (April 4, 2010) – Ohio State University Junior Guard Evan Turner has been named winner of the 2010 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T for Men’s College Player of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.  The Big Ten Player of the Year edged out finalists Sherron Collins (Kansas University), Wes Johnson (Syracuse University) and John Wall (University of Kentucky). 

Turner accepted the trophy earlier this evening from David Christopher, AT&T’s chief marketing officer of AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets, and Barry Goheen, Atlanta Tipoff Club chairman, at the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Guardians of the Game awards program at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis.

“All season long Evan displayed that special team-first approach that is necessary to achieve success,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “In doing so he enjoyed a tremendous season and is a fabulous ambassador for the game of college basketball.  We are honored to recognize him as our Naismith Trophy winner.”

Turner was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, in addition to fan voting via text message, which accounted for 25 percent of the final results – more than any other national college basketball award. The voting academy based its criteria on player performances throughout the season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP.  HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.

“We’re really proud to provide NCAA fans the opportunity to vote for the Naismith award nominees,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets. “Since text voting counted for 25 percent of the final scores, we know fans had an important stake in the outcome. Connecting consumers to their passions is our priority, and programs like this make it easy for sports fans to do just that.”

“I’ve said all year Evan Turner is the best player in college basketball,” Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta said. “I view him that way not because of his individual talent, which is extraordinary, but more so because of what he meant to his teammates and our coaching staff. His work ethic and the example he set for his teammates and future Buckeyes are unmatched. I congratulate Evan for winning the Naismith National Player of the Year honor for 2010. He and his family deserve this recognition for all the efforts spent toward earning this individual accomplishment.”

Turner led Ohio State to a 29-8 mark, the second-most victories in Ohio State history, and a share of the regular season championship and the conference tournament championship.  He led the conference in scoring (20.4) and rebounds (9.2) and also averaged 2.0 steals and 5.9 assists per game.  Turner concluded his junior year No. 15 in career scoring, No. 13 in career rebounds, No. 7 in career assists and No. 3 in career steals at Ohio State.  He is one of only two Buckeyes all-time to record 1,000+ points, 500+ rebounds and rank among the Top 10 in career steals (159) and assists (414) – Jim Jackson is the other.  He is the only Ohio State player to reach 1,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 400 career assists and 150 career steals.

Turner becomes the first Buckeye and fourth Big Ten player to win the Naismith Trophy, following Glenn Robinson (Purdue, 1994), Calbert Cheaney (Indiana, 1993) and Scott May (Indiana, 1976).  

“Winning the Naismith Player of the Year is an amazing achievement,” Turner said. “I’m honored to be recognized for this award. Though this is an individual honor, I’m thrilled to represent my family, my teammates, coaches and The Ohio State University.  “As the first Buckeye to win the award, to have my name listed with some of the greats of the game like Kareem (Lew Alcindor), Bill Walton, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan is incredible. I appreciate those who voted for me and am just really excited to be associated with this award.”

The Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T is regarded as the most prestigious national basketball award and is given annually to the men’s college basketball player of the year.

Past Naismith Trophy winners include:

2009 Blake Griffin Oklahoma

2008 Tyler Hansbrough North Carolina

2007 Kevin Durant Texas

2006 J.J. Redick Duke

2005 Andrew Bogut Utah

2004 Jameer Nelson Saint Joseph’s

2003 T.J. Ford Texas

2002 Jason Williams Duke

2001 Shane Battier Duke

2000 Kenyon Martin Cincinnati

1999 Elton Brand Duke

1998 Antawn Jamison North Carolina

1997 Tim Duncan Wake Forest

1996 Marcus Camby UMass

1995 Joe Smith Maryland

1994 Glenn Robinson Purdue

1993 Calbert Cheaney Indiana

1992 Christian Laettner Duke

1991 Larry Johnson UNLV

1990 Lionel Simmons LaSalle

1989 Danny Ferry Duke

1988 Danny Manning Kansas

1987 David Robinson Navy

1986 Johnny Dawkins Duke

1985 Patrick Ewing Georgetown

1984 Michael Jordan North Carolina

1983 Ralph Sampson Virginia

1982 Ralph Sampson Virginia

1981 Ralph Sampson Virginia

1980 Mark Aguirre DePaul

1979 Larry Bird Indiana State

1978 Butch Lee Marquette

1977 Marques Johnson UCLA

1976 Scott May Indiana

1975 David Thompson N.C. State

1974 Bill Walton UCLA

1973 Bill Walton UCLA

1972 Bill Walton UCLA

1971 Austin Carr Notre Dame

1970 Pete Maravich LSU

1969 Lew Alcindor UCLA 
Last month, the Atlanta Tipoff Club presented the National Naismith High School Boy’s Player of the Year award to Ohio State-bound Jared Sullinger (Northland High School, Columbus, Ohio).  This marks the first time ever that a high school recruit and a college winner share this type of Naismith Trophy connection to the same university.

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The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA’s Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969.  Old Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983.

The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s fastest 3G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verseSM and AT&T │DIRECTVSM brands. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising. In 2010, AT&T again ranked among the 50 Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE® magazine.