March 12, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona men's basketball player Jason Gardner was named District 9 Player of the Year in voting released Wednesday by the United States Basketball Writers Association.
Gardner was one of 10 players named to the USBWA all-District 9 team, which covers the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona and Alaska. Joining Gardner on the squad is Julius Barnes, Stanford; Tony Bland, San Diego State; Ike Diogu, Arizona State; Carl English, Hawaii; Jason Keep, San Diego; Luke Ridnour, Oregon; Philip Ricci, Oregon State; Joe Shipp, California; and Blake Stepp, Gonzaga. Stanford's Mike Montgomery was named District 9 Coach of the Year.
Gardner, a 5-foot-10, 191-pound senior guard from Indianapolis, Ind., is averaging 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists through 27 games this season. He averages a team-best 34.3 minutes per game, shoots 41.2 percent from the field, including 35.8 percent from three-point range. Gardner has scored in double figures in 21 of 27 games and has passed out at least five assists in a game 15 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 Monday. It is the second straight season that Gardner has earned USBWA all-District 9 accolades and his first district Player of the Year honor.
The top-ranked Wildcats (25-2 overall, 17-1 Pac-10) are next in action on Thursday, March 13, against UCLA in the quarterfinals of the 2003 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.
United States Basketball Writers Association
2003 all-District 9 Team
Julius Barnes, Stanford
Tony Bland, San Diego State
Ike Diogu, Arizona State
Carl English, Hawaii
Jason Gardner, Arizona
Jason Keep, San Diego
Luke Ridnour, Oregon
Philip Ricci, Oregon State
Joe Shipp, California
Blake Stepp, Gonzaga
Player of the Year: Jason Gardner, Arizona
Coach of the Year: Mike Montgomery, Stanford