MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Morehead State University graduate and former Eagle basketball star Kenneth Faried has been named the 2011 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year by the Lexington Herald-Leader. Faried played for MSU from 2007-11 and is now a rookie with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets.
“Kenneth is a fantastic ambassador for our university,” Morehead State Director of Athletics Brian Hutchinson said. “We’re very proud of everything Kenneth accomplished as a student-athlete at Morehead State and we’re excited about his future in the NBA.”
Last June, Faried became the first player in Morehead State history and eighth in Ohio Valley Conference history to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. He is one of 18 Eagle basketball players to ever be drafted and became the first since 2004.
A two-time OVC Player of the Year and three-time league Defensive Player of the Year, Faried earned seven different All-America honors as a senior. He was also recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as the NCAA’s top defensive player.
Morehead State posted an 84-52 record during Faried’s four seasons, including a school-record 25 wins his senior campaign. The Eagles captured two OVC Tournament championships during Faried’s career and made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
MSU’s upset of fourth-seeded Louisville in last year’s NCAA Tournament is widely regarded as the biggest win in school history. The Eagles also knocked off Alabama State in the 2009 NCAA Tournament and Colorado State in the 2010 College Basketball Invitational.
Faried establish a new NCAA modern-era (post-1973) record with 1,673 rebounds in four years. He also ranks third in Morehead State history with 2,009 career points.
In each of his four years as an Eagle, Faried’s scoring and rebounding increased. He averaged 17.3 points and 14.5 rebounds as a senior while shooting 62.3 percent from the field.
Faried’s No. 35 jersey was retired during last year’s Senior Night at Johnson Arena.
Other finalists for the award were Trinity High School Football Coach Bob Beatty, Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, Bellarmine Men’s Basketball Coach Scott Davenport, Washington Mystics forward Victoria Dunlap, New York Knicks forward Josh Harrellson, Washington Wizards guard Shelvin Mack, former UK All-American linebacker Danny Trevathan and Pikeville Men’s Basketball Coach Kelly Wells. Wells is a former Eagle basketball player and MSU graduate.
The Kentucky Sportsman of the Year is voted on by statewide media, presented by the Bluegrass Sports Commission and sponsored by Alltech. The BSC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to grow the economic impact of sports in Central Kentucky.