April 13, 2006

Redick first men's hoopster in 33 years to win Sullivan

NEW YORK -- Duke star J.J. Redick won the Sullivan Award on Wednesday night, becoming the first men's basketball player since Bill Walton in 1973 to be honored as the nation's top amateur athlete.

Redick beat out Texas quarterback Vince Young, who led the Longhorns to a national title with a win in the Rose Bowl over Southern California and its two Sullivan Award finalists -- Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.

The Duke senior also took the 2005 Sullivan Award over two-time AP women's basketball player of the year Seimone Augustus of LSU, Florida hurdler Kerron Clement, two-time Olympic gold medalist in taekwondo Steven Lopez, Olympic diving champion Laura Wilkinson, 2005 World Cup champion skier Bode Miller, and gymnast Chellsie Memmel, the 2005 world gymnastics champion.

The Sullivan is presented by the Amateur Athletic Union and a third of the vote is determined by fans voting online.

The Sullivan Award went to a men's basketball player for just the third time in its 76-year history. Before Redick and Walton, UCLA's All-America center, Princeton's Bill Bradley won the 1965 award.

Last week, the Duke guard took home the John R. Wooden award as the nation's top college basketball player. But for the Sullivan, he was up against tougher competition. Of the other nine finalists, only Augustus, Leinart and Bush had not won the championship in his or her sport in 2005. Leinart and Bush have won the last two Heisman trophies.

Redick was also the ACC player of the year.

The most recent college basketball players to win the Sullivan were women. Chamique Holdsclaw won in 1998, followed by Kelly and Coco Miller in 1999.

Redick plans to hire an agent in the next couple of weeks, then begin training to prepare for the NBA draft in June.

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