KU's Aldrich Named Basketball Academic All-American Of The Year

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas junior Cole Aldrich was named the ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Basketball Academic All-American of the Year, it was announced Monday.

Aldrich becomes the second Jayhawk basketball player to earn the honor -Jacque Vaughn won the award in 1997. Aldrich also becomes KU’s 14th basketball first-team Academic All-America selection and the first since Ryan Robertson in 1999.

“Cole Aldrich will be remembered at KU for the team accomplishments he was able to achieve during his career,” Robertson said. “Winning basketball games at the University of Kansas is a very important thing. However, to be named the Academic All-American of the Year is something from an individual basis that is truly outstanding.

“Cole exemplifies everything that is right about college athletics,” Robertson added. “As I look back on my own career, it is the one award that sticks out most. With this award, Cole has made his family, fans, and alumni proud, and I am just really happy for him.”

Earlier this month Aldrich, a communication studies major, was tabbed to the academic all-district team. Last season he was an Academic All-Big 12 Second-Team selection.

“As I have said one of my goals coming back to Kansas was to succeed academically,” Aldrich said. “Making the academic all-district team and then the All-America team were both special. To be named the Academic All-American of the Year is incredible.”

“This is a young man who came back to school for all of the right reasons,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “For him to accomplish this just proves how hard he has worked in the classroom. This is an honor he will cherish long after his playing days are through.”

On the court Aldrich is averaging 11.6 points and 10.1 rebounds while starting all 27 games this season. The 6-11 center has recorded a school season-record 103 blocks this year, while shooting 55.8 percent from the field.

The co-preseason Big 12 Player of the Year has earned two Big 12 Player of the Week honors this season for the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks.

Joining Aldrich on the Academic All-America First Team were Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame, Patrick Foley of Columbia, Matt Howard of Butler and Yves Mekongo of La Salle.

KU’s All-Time Academic All-Americans

1971 – Bud Stallworth

1974 – Tom Kivisto

1977 – Chris Barnthouse

1977 – Ken Koenigs

1978 – Ken Koenigs

1979 – Darnell Valentine

1980 – Darnell Valentine

1981 – Darnell Valentine

1982 – David Magley

1996 – Jacque Vaughn

1997 – Jacque Vaughn#

1997 – Jerod Haase

1999 – Ryan Robertson

2010 – Cole Aldrich#

# – Academic All-American of the Year