Beasley nominated for an ESPY

MANHATTAN, Kan. Former Kansas State forward Michael Beasley has been nominated for the ESPY for “Best Male College Athlete,” as the organization announced the nominees for the 16th annual ESPY Awards presented by HUMMER on Tuesday.   

 

The recent No. 2 pick by the Miami Heat in the 2008 NBA Draft, Beasley was one of three players nominated for the award, along with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of Florida and Wooden and Naismith Award winner Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina.    

 

Fans can help Beasley win the ESPY by voting online at www.espys.tv starting Tuesday.  For the fifth consecutive year, fan will determine the winners in all categories except the Arthur Ashe Courage Award (1968 Olympic medalists John Carlos and Tommie Smith), Jimmy V Award for Perserverance (former Buffalo Bill Kevin Everett) and Best Comeback (Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton).

 

Hosted by Justin Timberlake, along with a host of top athletes and entertainers, the two-hour event will be televised Sunday, July 20 at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN from the new NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE, a world-class 7,100-seat venue located across the street from the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

 

Beasley compiled one of the greatest seasons ever by a college freshman in NCAA history, as he averaged 26.2 points on 53.2 percent shooting (307-of-577), including 37.9 percent from 3-point range, with 12.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.2 assists in 31.5 minutes per game this season.  He posted the second-most rebounds (408) by a freshman in NCAA history, trailing just the record of 462 set by Nevada’s Pete Padgett in 1972-73, while he collected the third-most points (866) by a freshman behind LSU’s Chris Jackson (965; 1988-89) and Texas’ Kevin Durant (903; 2006-07). 

       

Beasley led the nation in six categories, including rebounding, double-doubles (28), 40-point games (three), 30-point games (13), 20-point, 10-rebound games (23) and 30-point, 10-rebound games (13), while he ranked third in scoring.  He is just the third freshman in NCAA history to lead the nation in rebounding, joining Loyola’s Kenny Miller (1987-88) and Louisiana Tech’s Paul Millsap (2003-04).  He also became just the 11th player in NCAA Division I history to post 28 or more double-doubles in a season and the first since Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan collected 29 during the 1996-97 season.

 

Beasley earned numerous accolades after the 2007-08 season, including National Player of the Year honors from both CBS Sports.com and Rivals.com and National Freshman of the Year honors from CBS Sports.com, Rivals.com, CollegeHoops.net, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).  He also was selected a first team All-American by numerous outlets, including The Associated Press, State Farm/National Association of Basketball Coaches, John R. Wooden Award, CBS Sports.com, Dick Vitale, ESPN.com, Rivals.com, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.  He was also chosen as a first team Freshman All-American by CBS Sports.com and Rivals.com.  In addition, he was named both the Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year by the league coaches, The Associated Press, Kansas City Star and Rivals.com as well as a unanimous all-conference first team selection by nearly every media outlet.

Beasley holds 30 Kansas State career, single-season and freshman records as well as 17 Big 12 single-game and single-season marks.  He is both the school’s and conference’s all-time single-season leader in scoring average (26.2 ppg.) and double-doubles (28), while he owns school single-season marks for points (866), rebounds (408), most 30-point games (13), most 20-point games (26), field goals made (307), free throws made (216) and free throws attempted (279). 

 

Beasley and company helped Kansas State post a 21-12 overall record in 2007-08, including a third-place finish in the Big 12 with a 10-6 mark.  The Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly 12 years and captured its first NCAA Tournament win since 1988 with their 80-67 victory over USC in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Omaha, Neb., on March 20.  The team has now posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years, while the 10 conference wins tie the 2006-07 squad for the best league record in the Big 12 era.  The third-place finish is the best since the inception of the Big 12 and the highest since the 1988-89 team finished third in the Big Eight.

 

Beasley is the first player to be drafted at Kansas State since Steve Henson went to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 1990 draft, while he is just the eighth player in school history to be selected in the first round.  He is the third highest draft pick in school history following Howard Shannon (1949; Providence Steamrollers) and Bob Boozer (1959; Cincinnati Royals), who both were selected with the No. 1 pick in their respective drafts.  He joins Mitch Richmond (No. 5 to the Golden State Warriors in 1988) as the school’s only lottery picks (first 14 selections) since the system was implemented in 1985.