AP Photo/David Stluka
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Frank Kaminsky may never get a harder bunch of questions than the ones he received Friday morning, when the Wisconsin forward was presented the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the U.S. Basketball Writers’ Association’s player of the year.
After the usual series of platitudes, the moderator opened the press conference to questions, and the first hand to shoot up belonged to Badgers teammate Nigel Hayes.
“What does it really mean to win this award?” he asked, starting off with a softball.
“It means a lot,” Kaminsky replied. “It’s been a long journey. It wasn’t easy at times, but I just believed in the process and believed in myself.”
Things only got tougher from there.
Another teammate, Sam Dekker: “Do you think not playing many minutes on your AAU team put a chip on your shoulder to get to this point?”
Kaminsky: “Uh, yes.”
Yet another, Josh Gasser: “Who is your favorite teammate?”
Kamsinky: “All of them.”
To which the team replied, “Awww.”
Kaminsky is a rarity in college hoops these days, a fourth-year senior who blossomed into one of the nation’s premier players as an upperclassman. But to hear it from coach Bo Ryan, holding the 7-footer back _ he averaged 10 minutes a game as a sophomore _ was all part of the plan.
“I wanted to play him more as a sophomore, but the assistant coaches felt he wasn’t quite ready yet _ ‘But coach, if you hold him back, hold him back, he’s the type of guy that will use that as fuel to come back his junior year and senior year as a better player,'” Ryan said with a wry grin. “That’s kind of how we do things at Wisconsin.”
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