April 16, 2003
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - University of Arizona men's basketball player Jason Gardner has been named the winner of the 2003 male Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, it was announced Wednesday by the Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Gardner won the award, which is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding senior six-foot and under. He joins Sean Elliott (1989) and Jason Terry (1999) as the only University of Arizona players to earn Player-of-the-Year accolades.
"It is a great honor to be named player of the year, especially from the Basketball Hall of Fame," said Gardner. "It's nice to be included on this list with so many other great players from the past."
The highest-scoring guard in Arizona history, Gardner, a 5-foot-10, 191-pound native of Indianapolis, Ind., averaged 14.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 32 games this season. He averaged a team-best 34.9 minutes per game, shot 39.2 percent from the field, including 33.2 percent from three-point range. Gardner scored in double figures in 24 of 32 games and passed out at least five assists in a game 17 times in 2002-03. He is the only Arizona player to register at least one double-figure point, rebound and assist game this season.
Gardner was named all-Pacific-10 Conference for the third time in his career on March 10. He earned All-America accolades from the John R. Wooden Award, United States Basketball Writers Association, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Associated Press, and the Senior CLASS Award. Gardner received All-America accolades 10 times in his four-year career.
A starter in 135 of 136 career games played, Gardner finished his career with 1,984 career points scored (14.6 ppg), 462 rebounds (3.4 rpg), 622 assists (4.6 apg) and 225 steals (1.7 spg). He is the Arizona career leader in games played (136), games started (135), minutes played (4,825), average minutes per game (35.5), three-point field goals (318) and three-point field goal attempts (875), while ranking among the career top 10 in seven other statistical categories.
One of only four Pac-10 players in history to amass 1,500 career points, 500 assists and 200 steals, Gardner led Arizona to a 107-29 (.786) record. In his four-year career, Gardner led the Wildcats to the 2001 national championship game, won two Pac-10 regular season titles and one Pac-10 postseason tournament championship.
The Gardner-led Wildcats (28-4 overall, 17-1 Pac-10) finished the season ranked No. 2 by the Associated Press. The club won the 2003 Pacific-10 Conference regular season championship, qualified to the NCAA Tournament for the 19th consecutive season and advanced to the West Regional final.
Established for men in 1969, the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award is named in honor of James Naismith's daughter-in-law. The award is selected by a panel from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Past winners include Monte Towe, North Carolina State (1975); Ray McCallum, Ball State (1983); Tyrone Bogues, Wake Forest (1987); Tim Hardaway, UTEP (1989); Tyus Edney, UCLA (1995); Brevin Knight, Stanford (1997); and Steve Logan, Cincinnati (2002).
Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award Winners
1969 William Keller, Purdue 1970 John Rinka, Kenyon 1971 Charlie Johnson, California 1972 Scott Martin, Oklahoma 1973 Robert Sherwin, Army 1974 Mike Robinson, Michigan State 1975 Monte Towe, North Carolina State 1976 Frank Alagia, St. John's 1977 Jeff Jonas, Utah 1978 Mike Schieb, Susquehanna 1979 Alton Byrd, Columbia 1980 Jim Sweeney, Boston College 1981 Terry Adolph, West Texas State 1982 Jack Moore, Nebraska 1983 Ray McCallum, Ball State 1984 Ricky Stokes, Virginia 1985 Bubba Jennings, Texas Tech 1986 Jim Les, Bradley 1987 Tyrone Bogues, Wake Forest 1988 Jerry Johnson, Florida Southern 1989 Tim Hardaway, Texas-El Paso 1990 Greg Harvey, St. John's 1991 Keith Jennings, East Tennessee State 1992 Tony Bennett, Wisconsin-Green Bay 1993 Sam Crawford, New Mexico State 1994 Greg Brown, New Mexico 1995 Tyus Edney, UCLA 1996 Eddie Benton, Vermont 1997 Brevin Knight, Stanford 1998 Earl Boykins, Eastern Michigan 1999 Shawnta Rogers, George Washington 2000 Scoonie Penn, Ohio State 2001 Rashad Phillips, Detroit 2002 Steve Logan, Cincinnati 2003 Jason Gardner, Arizona