Another day, another national player of the year award for Frank Mason. This time, he won the Oscar.
Mason was presented with the Oscar Robertson Trophy by the United States Basketball Writers Association on Friday at the Final Four.
A day earlier, Mason became the first Kansas player to win Associated Press player of the year, and the USWBA award is also a first for a Jayhawk.
“First, I want to thank Oscar,” said Mason, sitting next to the basketball legend. “I saw a few highlights of yours. You were really good, a legend.”
Robertson, who won the first, second and third national player of the year awards presented by the USBWA while playing for Cincinnati, told Mason that winning the awards should benefit him as teams consider him as a NBA prospect.
“The more they talk about Frank Mason the higher he’s going to go in the draft, so let them talk about you all they want,” Robertson said.
We’ll see. But Mason, his parents and KU assistant coach Norm Roberts and director of student-athlete development Fred Quartlebaum had a good time posing with one of the most unique trophies in sports. It’s Robertson, snaring a rebound, his legs split wide and parallel to the floor.
An interesting twist: The trophy was designed from a photograph taken of Robertson’s Cincinnati team playing at Allen Fieldhouse, in an NCAA Tournament game against Kansas State.
Mason is only the second KU player to win more than one national player of the year award in the same season. Danny Manning won the Wooden, NABC and Naismith player of the year awards during the Jayhawks’ 1988 NCAA championship season.
There are five more major player of the year awards to be announced, including the Naismith Trophy on Sunday and the Wooden Award on April 7. Mason would become KU’s first consensus national player of the year if he wins two more awards.