Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving has been named USA Basketball's 2014 Male Athlete of the Year. Irving, who was the MVP of the 2014 FIBA World Cup as the Americans won the gold medal, was named Athlete of the Year by the USA Basketball Board of Directors. Orlando Magic rookie Aaron Gordon won the award in 2013 while a member of the Arizona Wildcats.
Congrats to @FIBA World Cup MVP @KyrieIrving! The USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year: http://t.co/4r6U7yyQ1D pic.twitter.com/S6spj8fuax— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) December 21, 2014
Take a look back at the 2014 @FIBA World Cup with MVP & USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year @KyrieIrving Video: http://t.co/C6YkEYiAJb— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) December 21, 2014
During the tournament, Irving started all nine games and averaging 12.1 points and 3.6 assists per game for Team USA. He also scored a game-high 26 points in the gold-medal game vs. Serbia. Other menders of Team USA included Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and New Orleans Pelicans center Anthony Davis.
"It's truly an honor and a blessing to be among such a great lineage of award winners, and USA Basketball was the best experience of my life thus far, just being a part of a team that's bigger than myself," Irving said in the press release announcing the award. "The sacrifice we all had to make in order to make that team work and the adversity that we faced - and we came home with a gold medal. We were together through it all, and we won a gold medal together, so I'm going to remember it for the rest of my life."
So far this season, Irving is averaging 19.8 points and 5.2 assists per game in 25 games for the Cavaliers.