March 30, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - For the third year in a row, Utah State's men's basketball program has had a player earn Associated Press All-American honors as Gary Wilkinson was named to the honorable mention team it was announced Monday. Wilkinson was one of 62 student-athletes to receive All-America honors from the Associated Press and one of 47 to earn honorable mention honors.
Wilkinson joins former Aggie greats Wayne Estes and Jaycee Carroll as the only players in school history to be named an All-American by the Associated Press. Estes earned first-team AP All-America honors following the 1965 season, while Carroll earned honorable mention AP All-America honors following the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
"When I made the transition to Division I basketball I set a goal for myself to perform at a level that would give me the opportunity to earn All-American honors, and for it to actually happen is amazing," said Wilkinson. "It is very humbling to be linked with all the other great basketball players across the country who were also named All-Americans and I couldn't have done it with my coaches and teammates.
"The system we have at Utah State gave me an opportunity to show what I can do as a basketball player and I wouldn't have received this honor without everyone involved playing a vital role in the success of our team this season."
Wilkinson was the only player from the Western Athletic Conference honored by the Associated Press and one of just three players from the state of Utah recognized as Utah's Luke Nevill and Weber State's Kellen McCoy were also named AP honorable mention All-Americans.
Wilkinson, a 6-9 senior forward from South Jordan, Utah (Salt Lake CC), was named the WAC's Player of the Year this past season as he led the team in scoring and rebounding with 17.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He finished the year ranking second in the WAC in scoring and free throw shooting (.826), was fourth in field goal shooting (.580), and sixth in rebounding.
For his career, Wilkinson ranks 28th all-time at Utah State with 1,065 points and became the 33rd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. He also ranks fifth all-time in school history in field goal percentage (.582) and eighth all-time in free throw shooting (.821). As a senior, Wilkinson scored 598 points which ranks 15th all-time in school history for a single-season.
Wilkinson's other honors this year include being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 WAC Tournament along with receiving first-team all-district honors from both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Wilkinson was also named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and earned WAC Player of the Week honors three times during the season.
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