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UPI College Basketball Player of the Year

UPI College Basketball Player of the Year
Awarded for the most outstanding NCAA Division I men's basketball player
Country United States
Presented by United Press International
First awarded 1955
Last awarded 1996
Currently held by Ray Allen, Connecticut

The UPI College Basketball Player of the Year was an annual basketball award given to the best men's basketball player in NCAA Division I competition. The award was first given following the 1954–55 season and was discontinued following the 1995–96 season. It was given by United Press International (UPI), a news agency in the United States that rivaled the Associated Press but began to decline with the advent of television news.

Five players—Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, Lew Alcindor[a], Bill Walton and Ralph Sampson—won the award multiple times. Of these five, only Robertson, Walton and Sampson were three-time UPI Players of the Year.

UCLA had the most all-time winners with six. Ohio State was second with four winners, while Cincinnati and Virginia were tied for third with three winners apiece. Five other schools had two winners and sixteen schools had only one UPI Player of the Year.

Eight of the winners were sophomores, seven were juniors, and the remaining 27 were seniors. No freshman was ever presented the award.


  • Key 1
  • Winners 2
  • Winners by school 3
  • Footnotes 4
  • References 5


Player (X) Denotes the number of times the player has been awarded the Player of the Year award at that point


Bill Russell won the award in 1956.
Bill Bradley (42) won the award in 1965.
Bill Walton won the award three times from 1972–74.
Michael Jordan won the award in 1984.
David Robinson won the award in 1987.
Ray Allen won the award in 1996.
Season Player School Position Class
1954–55 Gola, TomTom Gola La Salle Forward Senior
1955–56 Russell, BillBill Russell San Francisco Center Senior
1956–57 Forte, ChetChet Forte Columbia Point guard Senior
1957–58 Robertson, OscarOscar Robertson Cincinnati Point guard Sophomore
1958–59 Robertson, OscarOscar Robertson (2) Cincinnati Point guard Junior
1959–60 Robertson, OscarOscar Robertson (3) Cincinnati Point guard Senior
1960–61 Lucas, JerryJerry Lucas Ohio State Forward / Center Junior
1961–62 Lucas, JerryJerry Lucas (2) Ohio State Forward / Center Senior
1962–63 Heyman, ArtArt Heyman Duke Guard / Forward Senior
1963–64 Bradds, GaryGary Bradds Ohio State Forward Senior
1964–65 Bradley, BillBill Bradley Princeton Small forward / Shooting guard Senior
1965–66 Russell, CazzieCazzie Russell Michigan Shooting guard Senior
1966–67 Alcindor, LewLew Alcindor[a] UCLA Center Sophomore
1967–68 Hayes, ElvinElvin Hayes Houston Forward / Center Senior
1968–69 Alcindor, LewLew Alcindor[a] (2) UCLA Center Senior
1969–70 Maravich, PetePete Maravich LSU Guard Senior
1970–71 Carr, AustinAustin Carr Notre Dame Guard Senior
1971–72 Walton, BillBill Walton UCLA Center Sophomore
1972–73 Walton, BillBill Walton (2) UCLA Center Junior
1973–74 Walton, BillBill Walton (3) UCLA Center Senior
1974–75 Thompson, DavidDavid Thompson NC State Shooting guard / Small forward Senior
1975–76 May, ScottScott May Indiana Forward Senior
1976–77 Johnson, MarquesMarques Johnson UCLA Guard / Forward Senior
1977–78 Lee, ButchButch Lee Marquette Point guard Senior
1978–79 Bird, LarryLarry Bird Indiana State Small forward Senior
1979–80 Aguirre, MarkMark Aguirre DePaul Small forward Sophomore
1980–81 Sampson, RalphRalph Sampson Virginia Center Sophomore
1981–82 Sampson, RalphRalph Sampson (2) Virginia Center Junior
1982–83 Sampson, RalphRalph Sampson (3) Virginia Center Senior
1983–84 Jordan, MichaelMichael Jordan North Carolina Shooting guard Junior
1984–85 Mullin, ChrisChris Mullin St. John's Small forward / Shooting guard Senior
1985–86 Berry, WalterWalter Berry St. John's Power forward Senior
1986–87 Robinson, DavidDavid Robinson Navy Center Senior
1987–88 Hawkins, HerseyHersey Hawkins Bradley Shooting guard Senior
1988–89 Ferry, DannyDanny Ferry Duke Power forward / Center Senior
1989–90 Simmons, LionelLionel Simmons La Salle Small forward Senior
1990–91 O'Neal, ShaquilleShaquille O'Neal LSU Center Sophomore
1991–92 Jackson, JimJim Jackson Ohio State Shooting guard Junior
1992–93 Cheaney, CalbertCalbert Cheaney Indiana Small forward Senior
1993–94 Robinson, GlennGlenn Robinson Purdue Small forward / Power forward Sophomore
1994–95 Smith, JoeJoe Smith Maryland Center Sophomore
1995–96 Allen, RayRay Allen Connecticut Shooting guard Junior

Winners by school

School Winners Years
UCLA 6 1967, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977
Ohio State 4 1961, 1962, 1964, 1992
Cincinnati 3 1958, 1959, 1960
Virginia 3 1981, 1982, 1983
Duke 2 1963, 1989
Indiana 2 1976, 1993
La Salle 2 1955, 1990
LSU 2 1970, 1991
St. John's 2 1985, 1986
Bradley 1 1988
Columbia 1 1957
Connecticut 1 1996
DePaul 1 1980
Houston 1 1968
Indiana State 1 1979
Marquette 1 1978
Maryland 1 1995
Michigan 1 1966
Navy 1 1987
NC State 1 1975
North Carolina 1 1984
Notre Dame 1 1971
Princeton 1 1965
Purdue 1 1994
San Francisco 1 1956


  • a Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1971 after converting to Islam.[1][2]


  1. "United Press International Player of the Year". Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  2. "Men's College Basketball: Player of the Year Awards → United Press International". 2006. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  1. ^  
  2. ^ Big O' Completes Bucks' Championship Run"'". NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition.  
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