Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s career day against Louisville earned him a nice award presented after this rivalry game.
The Bluegrass Sports Commission named Shai as the Most Valuable Player award winner. The freshman guard from Canada came off the bench to lead all scorers with a season-high 24 points. He also recorded five rebounds, four assists and here steals in the Wildcats’ 90-61 win.
“I think it’s just a mindset,” Shai said after the win. “You have to know you’re blessed, and a lot of kids don’t have the opportunities to do what you can do and be in the situation that you’re in. So you just have to think of it in that way.”
Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP honor adds him to the list of previous award winners Josh Harrellson (UK-2010), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (UK-2011), Russ Smith (UofL-2012), James Young (UK-2013), Tyler Ulis (UK-2014/2015), and Quentin Snider (UofL-2016).
“The Bluegrass Sports Commission congratulates Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Kentucky Wildcats on their win today,” said BSC President and CEO Brian Miller. “It’s great for these universities, programs and the Commonwealth to be center stage. Both programs have bright futures and we’d like to wish both teams good luck as they begin conference play. It looks like it will one again be an exciting March in the Commonwealth.”
Shai’s previous career high as a Wildcat was 15 points against Monmouth three weeks ago. He’s been coming off the bench and splitting time as the primary point guard and as a second/third guard. But on this day, Shai was dominant from whatever spot he was playing in.
“What you see on his face is a smile. That kid smiles,” said John Calipari after the win. “I don’t know if it’s a Canadian thing. I don’t know what it is. But every Canadian that I’ve coached has fun and smiles and doesn’t feel the weight of the world on them. I’ve got some guys still feeling the weight of the world. You can see it. They miss a shot, they shrug their shoulders … but Shai, he just plays.”
Enjoy some highlights of Shai’s big game, courtesy of Frankie Vision: