One former Kentucky Wildcat is taking home some hardware this offseason, as Julius Randle of the New York Knicks just took home the NBA Most Improved Player Award. He beat out the Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. and Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant for the award.
Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to break the news this evening.
In his seventh season in the league, Randle averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists, all of which were either career-highs or tied for career-highs. He also averaged career highs in three-point shooting at 41.1% and free-throw shooting at 81.1%. All of these numbers also allowed him to earn his first NBA All-Star Game berth this season.
Randle’s big improvements helped the Knicks improve from 21-45 last season to a stellar 41-31 this season, improving their win-loss total by 20 games. The Knicks are also making their first playoff appearance since 2013 as the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Don't expect this to be the only time you hear Randle’s name called this offseason, as he is fully expected to be named to an All-NBA team in the coming weeks.
It was also awesome to see his son, Kyden, surprise him with the award this evening. Check out the presentation below!
Congrats Julius from all of Big Blue Nation!