Collegiate Basketball’s Player of the Year is a “slam-dunk” selection as
“Excellence in Sports” Award winner
Several years ago, while conceptualizing an annual Excellence in Sports Award, the Board of Directors of the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame envisioned the presentation of an award to a Polish-American athlete or sports personality, whose accomplishments during the preceding year elevated the recipient to a level of unparalleled excellence.
For 2015, three years after the Excellence in Sports Award was first conceived, there seemed little doubt that any Polish-American athlete was more deserving of this award, and the accolades associated with it, than University of Wisconsin All-American basketball star Frank Kaminsky.
During the 2014-15 college basketball season, Frank Kaminsky, the 7 foot, 245 pound Wisconsin Badger center known in basketball circles as “Frank the Tank” accomplished just about everything a collegiate basketball player can hope for – and in the process, managed to bring home just about every major trophy that college basketball handed out.
Consider this litany of awards presented to Kaminsky following his brilliant senior year at Wisconsin:
John Wooden Award – Presented to the Collegiate Men’s Player of the Year
Naismith College Player of the Year
Oscar Robertson Trophy — given out annually to the outstanding men’s college basketball player by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year
The National Association of Basketball Coaches Player of the Year Award.
Big Ten Player of the Year
The Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award
University of Wisconsin’s Male Athlete of the Year
Consensus first-team All-American
In addition to his individual awards, Kaminsky’s Badgers boasted a 36-3 record in games Kaminsky played. They won the Big Ten regular season title (with a 16-2 record) and the Big Ten tournament title. In the Badgers’ first national championship game in 74 years, they led much of the game, but lost a 9-point second-half lead and were defeated 68-63 by the Duke Blue Devils. Kaminsky finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
Culminating his magic season, Kaminsky was selected as the ninth overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Not a bad year, don’t you think?
Earlier this year, Kaminsky acknowledged receipt of another award – the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame Excellence in Sports Award – presented to him by longtime Detroit Piston play-by-play man George Blaha. Kaminsky called receipt of the award “an honor.”
Actually, it is our honor, to present this award to him.
Congratulations, Frank Kaminsky, as the 2015 recipient of the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame Excellence in Sports Award.