Durant Captures Wooden Award in Runaway

By JOHN NADEL
The Associated Press
Sunday, April 8, 2007; 5:37 AM

LOS ANGELES -- Kevin Durant completed a sweep of the top six national player of the year honors. It was a humbling experience in more ways than one.

The Texas star won the John R. Wooden Award in a runaway Saturday to become the first freshman to receive the trophy, but friend and rival Acie Law of Texas A&M taught him a lesson on the Los Angeles Athletic Club basketball court a day earlier.

"Me and Acie were in here playing 1-on-1 last night. He beat me three times," Durant said. "He's a great guy _ he's going to have a great career."

Candace Parker, the 6-foot-4 sophomore who led Tennessee to its seventh NCAA championship, won the women's Wooden Award.

Law, a senior who finished fourth in the male voting, figures to be playing in the NBA next season. Durant hasn't announced a decision regarding his future.

"Right now, I don't even know," said the 6-foot-9 swingman, a sure bet to be one of the first players picked in the NBA draft should he decide to go pro. "I'm just enjoying the moment, having fun.

"When the time comes, I'll make the right decision."

Durant outdistanced Ohio State freshman Greg Oden in the balloting of more than 1,000 voters, including media and college basketball experts. Previously, he won the Naismith Trophy, The Associated Press Player of the Year award, the Adolph Rupp Trophy, the NABC Player of the Year award, and the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

"No one deserves it more," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We could talk all day about what he's done. The best thing is the way he's done it as a teammate."

Durant averaged 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds _ one of three players in the country to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds.

"Like coach always says, it's big-time," Durant said. "I'm just honored to be here. I wish my teammates could be here to share this with me."

Durant is the second Texas player to win the award, joining T.J. Ford, who won in 2003.


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