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Davis wins SEC's top individual honor

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Anthony Davis was named the SEC Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Anthony Davis was named the SEC Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
Even on the morning before he'll be officially tabbed as No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, Anthony Davis won't stop winning awards for his incredible freshman season at Kentucky.

After being nominated for a trio of ESPY awards on Wednesday, Davis was named the 2011-2012 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year on Thursday morning. The league's 12 athletic directors voted for the award and Alabama golfer Brook Pancake was the Female Athlete of the Year.

"Anthony and Brooke are true examples of outstanding student-athletes," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive in a release. "They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence have been successful in their endeavors. They are outstanding representatives of their universities and this conference.  The SEC is proud to honor them for their accomplishments and wish them the best in their future endeavors."

The award adds to Davis' extensive collection from his lone college season. Even before receiving the conference's top overall honor, the consensus national player of the year was the SEC's Player of the Year (Coaches/AP), SEC Defensive Player of the Year (Coaches) and SEC Freshman/Newcomer of the Year (Coaches/AP).

"When you consider how competitive the Southeastern Conference as a whole has been in all sports, it's a complete honor to be named SEC Male Athlete of the Year," Davis said. "The SEC has produced a lot of great student-athletes, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of such an elite class."

For both the male and female award, each of the SEC's 12 schools submit one nominee. Davis was chosen from a group that included Trent Richardson, Alabama (football); Morris Claiborne, LSU (football); Alex Yarbrough, Ole Miss (baseball); Chris Stratton, Mississippi State (baseball); Melvin Ingram, South Carolina (football) and John Jenkins, Vanderbilt (basketball). A'dia Mathies (women's basketball) was UK's nominee for Female Athlete of the Year.

"We are extremely excited that a University of Kentucky Wildcat has been named SEC Male Athlete of the Year," Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "Anthony had an incredible year and is very deserving. He led our program both on the floor and off the floor. He exemplified the competitive spirit indicative of this award. This is only the sixth time a Kentucky Wildcat has won this award and we are very happy for Anthony and his family."

Davis is the sixfth Wildcat overall to win the award since its inception in 1976 and the first since Tim Couch (football) in 1999.The other four winners are Jenny Hansen (1994 - gymnastics), Jamal Mashburn (1993 - men's basketball), Kyle Macy (1979 - men's basketball) and Jack Givens (1978 - men's basketball).

"I'm so proud of Anthony," Calipari said. "To become the Male Athlete of the Year in the greatest conference in the country is truly a remarkable achievement. Anthony did it by becoming the ultimate team player. He deferred to his teammates, put the team before himself and dedicated himself to becoming the best player in the country. I couldn't be happier for Anthony, and I'm looking forward to watching him achieve even greater things at the NBA level."

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