INDIANPOLIS - WKU junior center Charles Bassey became the first Hilltopper to make a traditional All-America team in 50 years Wednesday when he was selected to the USBWA All-America Third Team.
The Hilltoppers have had honorable mention All-American selections since – including Bassey on Tuesday by The Associated Press – but the last player chosen for All-America team honors was Jim McDaniels in 1971, when he was a First Team pick by the AP, NABC, Sporting News and USBWA among others.
The USBWA has named an annual All-America team since its founding season in 1956-57 and a national player of the year since the 1958-59 season.
It's the most prestigious individual honor of Bassey's career in a season that's been filled with accolades.
As of Monday, Bassey ranked second in the country in double-doubles and dunks, fourth in blocks per game, sixth in rebounds per game and ninth in field-goal percentage. He's the only player in the nation to even rank in the top 20 in both blocks and rebounds per game.
The 6-foot-11 native of Lagos, Nigeria, is averaging 17.7 points, 11.5 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per contest while shooting 60.2% from the field. He's the only player in the nation since at least 2010 with four games in a season of at least 20 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
This year, Bassey became the fourth player in Conference USA history to win the league's Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season.