Courtesy: Big 12 Conference
DALLAS – Oklahoma swept the 2015-16 Big 12 Athlete of the Year awards as softball pitcher Paige Parker received the female accolade while basketball standout Buddy Hield captured the male honor.
This year is the sixth in Conference history in which the same institution picked up both awards.
Hield was also named the Big 12’s Male Sportsperson of the Year to mark the third time that the same student-athlete received both since Sportspersons of the Year were initiated in 2000-01. OU captured both men’s honors in 2008-09, however each was won by a different individual.
Nominees are submitted by Big 12 institutions and selected, based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship, by a media panel as well as fan voting conducted through the Big 12’s social media platforms.
Parker carried the Sooners to the 2016 Women’s College World Series title by posting a 10-0 record in the postseason, including a 5-0 mark in the WCWS where she was named the Most Outstanding Player. She finished the postseason with a 2.13 ERA and pitched 69 of OU’s 76.1 innings with 58 strikeouts, 59 hits and two shutouts. Overall on the season, Parker totaled a 38-3 record with a 1.64 ERA in 47 appearances. She will enter her junior season with a career record of 66-10. Parker was a 2016 NFCA All-America First Team honoree and one of 25 finalists for the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She also garnered All-Region First Team recognition the past two seasons and was a second team All-America pick as a freshman. Big 12 head coaches selected Parker as the 2015 and 2016 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and to the All-Big 12 First Team both seasons. In her rookie campaign, she was named both NFCA and Big 12 Freshman of the Year for 2015. Parker has been voted as Big 12 Pitcher of the Week on 12 occasions through her first two seasons and is a two-time NFCA National Pitcher of the Week.
The Independence, Missouri sophomore was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team and the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. She was also selected to the 2015 Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team. Parker is a four-time Sooner Scholar and member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and a three-time selection to the President’s Honor Roll. She was also named to the Dean’s Honor Roll for the 2016 spring semester. Her community outreach activities include participating with her team in Cleats for Kids, visiting the Oklahoma City Children’s Hospital and volunteering with a local elementary school in hosting an annual fund raising jogathon.
Hield was chosen sixth in the 2016 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans after electing to remain in college for his senior year, resulting in a trip to the Final Four for the Sooners. He was voted by the league coaches as Big 12 Player of the Year for a second consecutive season and was a consensus first-team All-American. Hield was the recipient of the 2016 Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy and Oscar Robertson Trophy as the national player of the year, the first OU player to sweep the national honors since Blake Griffin in 2009. Additionally, he picked up player of the year awards by The Sporting News and CBS Sports, and was the winner of the 2016 Jerry West Award as the nation’s top shooting guard. Most recently, Hield was presented an ESPY as the top Male College Athlete of 2015-16. He concluded his career as the Big 12’s all-time leading scorer with 2,291 points while also setting the record for most career points in Conference regular season play with 1,202. Hield is the Sooners’ second-highest career scorer and finished first in OU history in 3-pointers made (349) and attempted (894). Additionally, he ranks third in Big 12 history in both field goals made (783) and 3-pointers made (349), and set a Conference mark for most 30-point games with 14, including 12 as a senior. Hield started every game for Oklahoma in his final three seasons (105) and played in 132 total contests in his career.
The Freeport, Bahamas native was named to the Academic All-Big 12 Second Team as a senior and was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award while graduating with a degree in human relations in May 2016. He was named a Sooner Scholar six times and has been on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll twice. Hield became the first player in the then 19-year history of the Big 12 to be named player of the year, lead the league in scoring and be named to the academic all-conference first team when he accomplished the feat at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
Recognized for his affable personality, Hield was a popular visitor to Norman-area elementary schools and was known for returning to the court to interact with fans both at home and on the road, regardless of the outcome of the game.
Other female candidates for Big 12 Athlete of the Year included Nina Davis (Baylor), Caitlin Nolan (Iowa State), Ainise Havili (Kansas), Dani Winters (Kansas State), Kaela Edwards (Oklahoma State), Brianna McGhee (TCU), Courtney Okolo (Texas), Janine Beckie (Texas Tech) and Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia).
Male nominees were Spencer Drango (Baylor), Georges Niang (Iowa State), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Cody Whitehair (Kansas State), Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State), Ronnie Baker (TCU), Joseph Schooling (Texas), Eric Gutierrez (Texas Tech) and Tyler Orlosky (West Virginia).
Big 12 Athletes of the Year
2015-16 Paige Parker, Oklahoma Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
2014-15 Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
2013-14 Odyssey Sims, Baylor Bryce Petty, Baylor
2012-13 Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma Collin Klein, Kansas State
2011-12 Brittney Griner, Baylor Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2010-11 Jessica Beard, Texas A&M Taylor Jungmann, Texas
2009-10 Lisa Koll, Iowa State Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
2008-09 Destinee Hooker, Texas Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
2007-08 Sarah Pavan, Nebraska Chase Daniel, Missouri
2006-07 Sarah Pavan, Nebraska Ben Askren, Missouri
2005-06 Cat Osterman, Texas Vince Young, Texas
2004-05 Cat Osterman, Texas Derrick Johnson, Texas
2003-04 Nicole Ohlde, Kansas State Jason White, Oklahoma
2002-03 Cat Osterman, Texas Nick Collison, Kansas
2001-02 Stacey Dales-Schuman, Oklahoma Cael Sanderson, Iowa State
2000-01 Greichaly Cepero, Nebraska Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
1999-00 Erin Aldrich, Texas Charles Howell, Oklahoma State
1998-99 Suziann Reid, Texas Ricky Williams, Texas
1997-99 Vera Ilyina, Texas Grant Wistrom, Nebraska
1996-97 Nanceen Perry, Texas Jacque Vaughn, Kansas