ROSEMONT, Ill. – Michigan State men’s basketball player Denzel Valentine was named the 2016 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on Wednesday.
Valentine is the third Michigan State player to win Male Athlete of the Year accolades, after ice hockey standout Ryan Miller claimed the honor in 2001 and men’s basketball’s Draymond Green won the award in 2012. Valentine capped off his senior season by winning six National Player of the Year honors, earning the awards from the Associated Press (AP), National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Basketball Times, Sports Illustrated, USA TODAY and NBC Sports. The Lansing, Mich., native was named the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year and was a consensus first team All-American. In addition, Valentine earned Big Ten Player of the Year plaudits.
The Big Ten Conference has recognized a Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year since 1982 when Indiana’s Jim Spivey earned the inaugural award.