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Holly MacKenzie

The Naismith Notes: Amihere declares for Draft, Edey keeps making history

- Zach Edey continues to make history. Though the Purdue Boilermakers ended their season earlier than expected, Edey’s incredible junior season continues to be honoured. This Tuesday, Edey became the first-ever Canadian to win the John R. Wooden Award, given to the NCAA’s top men’s college basketball player. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark won the women’s Wooden Award. Clark and Edey were also named the AP’ National Player of the Year in addition to their Wooden honours. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Zach Edey is the winner of the 2023 John R. Wooden Award Men’s Player of the Year Presented By Wendy’s <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#woodenworthy</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; John R. Wooden Award (@WoodenAward) <a href="">April 4, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

In addition to the AP and Wooden awards, Edey has already been named the Sporting News, United States Basketball Writers Association, Naismith Trophy and National Association of Basketball Coaches national player of the year awards.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">ALL of them. <br><br>🏆: <a href="">@WoodenAward</a> <br>🏆: <a href="">@NaismithTrophy</a> <br>🏆: <a href="">@TheBigOTrophy</a> <br>🏆: <a href="">@NABC1927</a> POY<br>🏆: <a href="">@AP_Top25</a> POY<br>🏆: <a href="">@sportingnews</a> POY<br>🏆: Pete Newell Trophy<br>🏆: <a href="">@kaj33</a> Award<br>🏆: <a href="">@B1GMBBall</a> POY<br>🏆: <a href="">@B1GMBBall</a> Tournament MOP<br>🏆: <a href="">@nikebasketball</a> PKL MOP<br><br> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Purdue Men&#39;s Basketball (@BoilerBall) <a href="">April 5, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

The 20-year-old Toronto native averaged 22.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.1 blocks per game in his junior season. In a ceremony this past weekend, the 7-foot-4 bigman, along with his mother, Julia, attended an NCAA award ceremony where he received the much-deserved Naismith, AP and USBWA Player of the Year trophies. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Worth the trip. <br><br>48 hours. 3 big honors. <br><br>🏆: <a href="">@NaismithTrophy</a> POY<br>🏆: <a href="">@AP_Top25</a> POY<br>🏆: <a href="">@USBWA</a> POY <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Purdue Men&#39;s Basketball (@BoilerBall) <a href="">April 3, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

- Laeticia Amihere is going to the W. After making it to the Final Four with the South Carolina Gamecocks in this year’s Women’s NCAA Tournament, Amihere announced that she will be declaring for next week’s WNBA Draft.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thank you from the bottom of my heart🖤 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Laeticia Amihere (@_Theblackqueen_) <a href="">April 4, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

The 6-foot-4 senior, who won a national championship with South Carolina in 2022, is currently projected to be a first-round pick by ESPN. Amihere averaged 7.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game in just 15.9 minutes per game this year. She set the all-time South Carolina record for most blocks in an NCAA Tournament game in 2021 when she recorded nine blocks against Texas.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">South Carolina&#39;s 2019 recruiting class dubbed &quot;The Freshies&quot; had an incredible 4 year run 👏 <a href="">@GamecockWBB</a><br><br>◽️ 129-9 combined record<br>◽️ 1 home loss<br>◽️ Never ranked outside of Top 10<br>◽️ 42 game win streak<br>◽️ 3 Final Four appearances<br>◽️ 3 SEC championships<br>◽️ 1 National Championship <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; The Sporting News (@sportingnews) <a href="">April 1, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

When she wasn’t playing for South Carolina, Amihere was suiting up for the Canadian National Team, representing Canada most recently in the 2022 FIBA World Cup, as well as the 2021 FIBA AmeriCup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

- Drexel’s Keishana Washington also made headlines this week, becoming the first Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American in program history. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You’re looking at the first WBCA All-American in Drexel program history. 🐐🇺🇸<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FearTheDragon</a> 🐉 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Drexel Women&#39;s Basketball (@DrexelWBB) <a href="">March 30, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Washington received the honour after a senior season for the record books where she averaged 27.7 points per game, placing her second in the nation. In her final game as a Drexel Dragon, Washington scored a career-high 43 points, breaking her own record for most points scored in a game. Earlier this season, Washington became the all-time leading Canadian scorer in women’s basketball history. 

On Tuesday, Washington announced that she will be entering this year’s WNBA Draft. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">“Thank you Drexel💙💛” - Keishana Washington<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThankYouKei</a> 🐐<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FearTheDragon</a><a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WNBADraft</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Drexel Women&#39;s Basketball (@DrexelWBB) <a href="">April 3, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

- It would be hard to find a rookie playing better than Shaedon Sharpe over the past couple of weeks. The Portland Trail Blazers guard scored a career-high 30 points against the Sacramento Kings last week, topping his previous career-high of 29 points set three days earlier. He added seven rebounds, seven assists and a blocked shot against the Kings and connected on 6-of-13 three-pointers. Sharpe is averaging 9.6 points per game this season, but that average has jumped to 24.1 points over his last eight games as his minutes have increased with All-Star Damian Lillard sitting. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shaedon Sharpe tonight:<br><br>30 PTS<br>7 REB<br>7 AST<br>6-13 3P<br><br>Career-High <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; BallMuse (@BallMuse23) <a href="">March 30, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

- For another rookie getting it done, we head to Indiana where Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin hit a three-pointer against the Milwaukee Bucks last week to pass Chris Duarte for most three-pointers made in a rookie season in Pacers history. The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 16.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.3 minutes per game in his first NBA season.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bennedict Mathurin has passed Chris Duarte for the most three-pointers made as a rookie in franchise history.🎯 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) <a href="">March 29, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Two of Mathurin’s prettiest points scored this season came courtesy of this all-Canadian alley-oop between Mathurin and Pacers teammate Andrew Nembhard.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">getting it done on both ends of the floor.🔥<br><br>the Isaiah Jackson swat leads to an Andrew Nembhard to Bennedict Mathurin oop!🤯 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) <a href="">March 30, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 31.5 points per game and has shown he can score from anywhere on the floor. In the past week, 55 of his points came from the free throw line, where he went 55-for-48 over four games, including back-to-back games where Gilgeous-Alexander finished 17-for-17 from the line.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shai Gilgeous-Alexander🇨🇦 sets a new career high for free throws made without a miss (17).<br><br>This was his seventh game in 2022-23 making at least 13 free throws without a miss. That’s the most in a single season by any player in NBA history. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Brian Swane (@BrianSwane) <a href="">April 1, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Gilgeous-Alexander hasn’t just been lighting up the scoreboard either. In addition to his 31.5 points, he is averaging 4.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks per game in his fifth NBA season.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tonight vs Phoenix:<br><br>39 points <br>5 assists<br>3 rebounds <br>2 steals <br>17/17 FT <br><br>The superstar continues his spectacular season 👏 <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Bally Sports Oklahoma (@BallySportsOK) <a href="">April 3, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

- In overseas action, Kenny Chery dropped 31 points in a 96-85 Petkimspor victory over Konyaspor on Sunday. Chery shot 11-for-19 from the floor, including a blistering 9-for-12 from beyond the arc while adding seven assists and two rebounds in 38 minutes of action. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="tr" dir="ltr">Kenny, 31 sayı ve 7 asistle alev oldu! Ne derler? Bilirsiniz. <br>&quot;Rise &amp; Shine Bro!&quot; 🔥🚀<a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#enerjiniateşle</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#aliaga</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#basketball</a> <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#riseandshine</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Aliağa Petkimspor (@Petkimspor) <a href="">April 4, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

- It was also a huge week for Nirra Fields who dropped 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals for Emlak in a win against Besiktas on Friday and then followed that up with a 25-point performance in a win against Botas A. on Monday. Fields is averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 steals in 26 games with Emlak in the Women’s Basketball Super League in Turkey.