Kentucky basketball player Anthony Davis has been named the 2011-2012 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year per a vote by the league's athletics directors, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Thursday.
"When you consider how competitive the Southeastern Conference as a whole has been in all sports, it's a complete honor to be named SEC Male Athlete of the Year," Davis said. "The SEC has produced a lot of great student-athletes, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an elite class."
A 2012 NCAA consensus first-team unanimous All-America selection, he also earned the national Freshman, Defensive Player and Big Man awards. In addition, he was named the 2012 National Player of the Year by various organizations, earning the Oscar Robertson Trophy, the Adolph Rupp Trophy, the Associated Press Player of the Year, Naismith Award, Sporting News Player of the Year, Basketball Times Player of the Year and John R. Wooden Award.
"We are extremely excited that a University of Kentucky Wildcat has been named SEC Male Athlete of the Year," Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "Anthony had an incredible year and is very deserving. He led our program both on the floor and off the floor. He exemplified the competitive spirit indicative of this award. This is only the sixth time a Kentucky Wildcat has won this award and we are very happy for Anthony and his family."
Davis helped lead Kentucky to its eighth national championship in men’s basketball and was named the 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player for his efforts.
Furthermore, the Chicago native set a new standard in the NCAA freshman record books for blocks in a season with 186 swats. The new mark also stands as a conference and UK single-season record. He led the league in blocks (186), field-goal percentage (.623) and double-doubles (20).
He was the SEC’s Player of the Year (Coaches/AP), SEC Defensive Player of the Year (Coaches) and SEC Freshman/Newcomer of the Year (Coaches/AP).
“I’m so proud of Anthony,” UK coach John Calipari said. “To become the Male Athlete of the Year in the greatest conference in the country is truly a remarkable achievement. Anthony did it by becoming the ultimate team player. He deferred to his teammates, put the team before himself and dedicated himself to becoming the best player in the country. I couldn’t be happier for Anthony, and I’m looking forward to watching him achieve even greater things at the NBA level.”
Alabama golfer Brooke Pancake earned the Female Athlete of the Year honor from the conference office.
"Anthony and Brooke are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” Slive said. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence have been successful in their endeavors. They are outstanding representatives of their universities and this conference. The SEC is proud to honor them for their accomplishments and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
Davis is the sixth Kentucky winner of the conference’s Athlete of the Year award, joining Tim Couch (1999), Jenny Hansen (1995), Jamal Mashburn (1993), Kyle Macy (1980) and Jack Givens (1978) as other recipients.