BOSTON, Mass. (WBKO) --- WKU Hilltopper Basketball center Charles Bassey was named this week to the 2019 Kyle Macy Freshman All-America Team.
Bassey is the first Hilltopper to receive an All-American honor at any level since Orlando Mendez-Valdez was an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American in 2009.
Bassey – a 6-foot-11, 245-pound native of Lagos, Nigeria – averaged 14.6 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in his first season for the Hilltoppers while shooting 62.7 percent from the field.
He led Conference USA in double-doubles (17) and ranked in the top 30 nationally in double-doubles, field-goal percentage, blocks per game, total blocks, rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game and total rebounds while competing as one of the top-10 youngest players in the country.
He became just the second freshmen since 1992 – along with current NBA star Anthony Davis – to average at least 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks while shooting at least 60 percent overall.
Bassey played his best basketball against top competition, averaging 17.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.4 steals in five games against Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford, UCF’s Tacko Fall, West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate and Washington’s Noah Dickerson.
Bassey is 1 of 5 national finalists – including the only freshman – for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.
He became the second player in Conference USA history to win both C-USA Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, and he was also named to the All-C-USA First Team, All-Freshman Team and All-Defensive Team.
Making the Freshman All-America Team also makes Bassey a finalist for the 2019 Kyle Macy Award, given annually to the top freshman in college basketball.
The recipient of the 2019 Kyle Macy Award will be announced Friday at the College Insider Awards Event, in Minneapolis, site of the 2019 NCAA Final Four.