March 28, 1998 in Sports

Jamison, Izzo Best In College Basketball

Associated Press

North Carolina’s Antawn Jamison got choked up Friday as a letter from President Clinton was read, congratulating him on winning The Associated Press College Player of the Year award.

Clinton said, “Through determination, skill and exceptional self-discipline, you have taken your rightful place among the premier college basketball players.”

Clinton also said he admired his “tenacity, competitiveness and unselfish style of play.”

“That was special,” Jamison said about the letter from the president. “That’s why I got nervous.”

The AP’s other top basketball award went to Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, who was named Coach of the Year after leading the Spartans to a surprising 22-8 record and a share of the Big Ten Conference regularseason championship.

Izzo received 39 votes in nationwide balloting by sports writers and broadcasters, edging Princeton’s Bill Carmody, who had 36. North Carolina’s Bill Guthridge was third with 33.

Jamison, a 6-foot-9 forward, was a runaway winner, receiving 110 votes from a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Kansas center Raef LaFrentz was second with 35 votes.

Like the UNC tradition after an assist, Jamison pointed to his teammates for winning his award.

“For me, payback to them would be to win a national championship,” said Jamison, who is averaging 22.4 points and 10.5 rebounds heading into today’s NCAA Final Four semifinal against Utah.

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