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Jamal Shead Named Naismith Defensive Player of the Year

Mar 24, 2024; Memphis, TN, USA; Houston Cougars guard Jamal Shead (1) shoots against Texas A&M Aggies guard Wade Taylor IV (4) in overtime in the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

First-team All-American guard Jamal Shead was named the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year on Sunday afternoon, beating out Purdue’s Zach Edey, Creighton’s Ryan Kalkbrenner, and Iowa State’s Tamin Lipsey.

Shead accepted the award at the Naismith Awards Brunch on Sunday and thanked his coach, Kelvin Sampson, and his Houston teammates for their effort.

 

Shead gave a speech upon accepting the award of Naismith Player of the Year, saying, “First and foremost, I want to say thank you to my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Without him, I wouldn’t be here today, and allowing us as a group to play the game we love every day so thank you to him. Thank you to my family, my mother and my father. It’s been a long journey, and they’ve been with me every step of the way. And just a fun fact: they’ve missed two games in my four-year college career.”

“Thank you to my coaches and teammates, Coach Sampson, you changed my life,” Shead said. “The coaching staff grooming me and making me the man I am today on and off the court has been just, I’ll never create the right words to say thank you. To my teammates, this is a team award. Being the best defender on the best defensive team in the country is awesome. I just wanted to say thank you to my guys, I love you, and thank you guys for tonight.”

Shead quickly earned his place as one of the nation’s best guards in 2023-24, earning First-Team All-American honors, First-Team All-Big 12 honors, Big 12 Player of the Year honors, and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in his first season in the league. The Texas native recorded 12.9 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds per game in his fourth season of college basketball.

After adding yet another prestigious award to his impressive resume, Jamal Shead continues to stake his claim as the best point guard in all of college basketball.

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