OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.-Jared Sullinger was honored Monday in Oklahoma City as the first winner of the Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award in collegiate basketball.
Fran Fraschilla, a former Ohio State assistant and current ESPN basketball analyst, was the award emcee. He introduced both Sullinger and fellow ESPN announcer Dick Vitale, winner of the first Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award winner.
Click on the audio links above to hear Vitale’s speech honoring Tisdale, a former University of Oklahoma All-American who died in 2009. Sullinger’s speech as well as Thad Matta’s comments also are linked above.
Sullinger led Ohio State in both scoring (17.2 ppg.) and rebounding (10.2 rpg.) in his rookie campaign with the Buckeyes (34-3). The Buckeyes won the Big Ten regular season crown with a 16-2 overall record and then won the 2011 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis before advancing the NCAA Sweet 16.
Sullinger earned several individual honors in 2010-11 including first team All-Big Ten, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Big Ten Tournament most outstanding player and first team All-America honors. He was a finalist for the 2011 Wooden Award and was a Naismith All-American.
Sullinger will return to the Buckeyes for his sophomore season in 2011-12.
The Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award will be handed out annually in Oklahoma City by the Dowtown Club of Oklahoma City in conjunction with the United States Basketball Writer’s Association. The USBWA selects the annual freshman of the year in college basketball.