John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s Finalists Feature Five ESPN Events Alumni
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, featured all five finalists for the 2017 John R. Wooden Award Presented by Wendy’s in a 2016-17 early-season event. The five players – Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Josh Hart (Villanova), Frank Mason III (Kansas), Caleb Swanigan (Purdue), and Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga) – are invited to Los Angeles for the Wooden Award presentation during the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 7, 2017.
- Ball, who was named the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year, took home MVP honors of the 2016 Wooden Legacy after averaging 15.7 points and 9.3 assists per game during the three-day event.
- The 2017 BIG EAST Player of the Year, Hart scored 19.7 points per game as the 2016 Gildan Charleston Classic MVP in leading Villanova to the event’s championship.
- Mason III, the Big 12’s Player of the Year, followed up a 30-point performance against Indiana in the 2016 Armed Forces Classic by hitting the game-winning basket in Kansas’ win against Duke in the 2016 State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
- The 2017 Big Ten Player of the Year, Swanigan’s 10 rebounds led Purdue as the Boilermakers earned a 97-64 victory against Arizona State at the 2016 Jimmy V Classic presented by Corona.
- Williams-Goss, who earned West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors, was named the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational MVP after leading Gonzaga to the championship in a field that featured five eventual NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship teams.
The Charlotte, N.C., based ESPN Events managed six multiple-team events during the 2016-17 season, consisting of the Gildan Charleston Classic, Tire Pros Invitational, Wooden Legacy, AdvoCare Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The multi-day, destination events staged from Charleston, S.C., Orlando, Orange County, Calif., Orlando, Brooklyn and Honolulu, respectively, are all bracket-format tournaments.
In addition to the multiple-team tournaments, ESPN Events also manages three neutral site men’s basketball events including the Armed Forces Classic, State Farm Champions Classic and Jimmy V Classic presented by Corona.
The 2017 ESPN Events college basketball schedule will expand with the addition of PK80 – a 16-team, two-bracket event staged in Portland, Ore., November 23-26, 2017.