Kendrick Nunn wins Horizon League Player of the Year

Dakota Brecht, Staff Reporter

The Horizon League men’s basketball awards were released Wednesday, Feb. 28 and Oakland University senior standout Kendrick Nunn has won Horizon League Player of the Year. In addition to POY, Nunn also earned All-League First Team honors as well.

Head Coach Greg Kampe was thrilled that another one of his players won the Horizon League POY and knows it shines brightly on his program.

“Kendrick is our fourth player of the year in the last eight years and second in the last three years so I’m just excited for him and the program,” Kampe said.

This past season was Nunn’s first and final season at Oakland, it was also one Golden Grizzly fans will not forget. After spending three seasons at the University of Illinois and scoring over a thousand points there, Nunn decided to transfer to Oakland University. Nunn had to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules and started this season as 5th year senior.

Over the course of the season, Nunn was not only one of the top scorers in the Horizon League, but in the NCAA as a whole. Averaging 26.4 points per game put Nunn first in the Horizon League and second in the nation in scoring. Nunn has been putting in baskets at an outstanding rate all season, shooting almost 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range. In addition to scoring, he added on 3.9 assists per game and 4.8 rebounds a game.

Nunn has put in as many hours in the gym as anyone and the hard work has definitely shown.

I really appreciate everyone that voted for me being player of the year,” Nunn said. “It means a lot to me and it’s exciting that I’m being rewarded for all my hard work and sacrifice.”

One person who is around Oakland basketball as much as anyone is the voice of the Golden Grizzlies, Neal Ruhl.

“Nunn has had one of the all time best seasons in the history of Oakland basketball,” Ruhl said. “Nunn is one of the best shooters to ever come through this program and he is another class act guy that has done everything that has been asked of him and more.”

It has been a rollercoaster season for the Golden Grizzlies but with the end in sight, one thing Oakland fans will remember is Nunn’s Player of the Year season.

Hayes and Walker also receive honors

Nunn was not the only Golden Grizzly to receive honors, forward Jalen Hayes and guard Martez Walker received impressive awards as well. Both Hayes and Walker are fifth year seniors and have made a huge impact for Oakland on and off the court. Hayes earned All-League first team along with Nunn and Walker earned All-Defensive Team.

Hayes averaged 19 points per game, while shooting an impressive 52 percent from the field. On the defensive side of things Hayes was solid as well, averaging eight rebounds a game.

“Jalen is one of the best character guys I have ever met, not just in basketball, but in life,” Ruhl said. “He is a double double machine that is as consistent as it gets.”

Fifth year senior Martez Walker is a fan favorite at Oakland and someone his teammates look up to. He is a superb defender who is almost always matched up with the opposing team’s best player.

“In Martez’s case I don’t think he really got what he deserved because of the injury but he was still recognized despite not playing the last six games,” Kampe said.

Not just known for his defense, Walker also averaged 17.6 points per game and led Oakland in free throws made. Walker would rarely leave the court in most games and ranked 16th in the nation in minutes per game.

“[Walker] was incredible all year, this was a guy that was one of the better scorers in the league while at the same time defending the other teams best scorer and locking them up,” Ruhl said.