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HomeSportsNBAShai Gilgeous-Alexander wins Northern Star Award as Canada's athlete of the year

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wins Northern Star Award as Canada’s athlete of the year

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Basketball star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was voted Canada’s top athlete of the year on Monday.

The 25-year-old from Hamilton is the Northern Star Award recipient, formerly the Lou Marsh Trophy, after receiving his first all-NBA nod and leading the Canadian men’s team to a bronze-medal upset of the United States at the Basketball World Cup.

Gilgeous-Alexander is the second basketball player to win the award after Steve Nash grabbed honours in 2005.

He beat out Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid, golfer and Canadian Open champion Nick Taylor, hammer thrower Camryn Rogers and swimmer Summer McIntosh for the award.

Last season, Gilgeous-Alexander finished fourth in NBA scoring with 31.4 points per game and placed fifth in MVP balloting while helping the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder land a surprising play-in spot.

This season, he’s still averaging more than 30 points while his assist and rebound numbers are up and OKC is 14-7 — the second-best record in the Western Conference.

But Gilgeous-Alexander’s best work may have come in the summer at the Basketball World Cup in Asia, where he powered Canada to its first Olympic men’s basketball berth since Steve Nash led the way in 2000.

Gilgeous-Alexander was not the highest scorer in the tournament, but his extraordinary blend of offence, defence, unselfishness and efficiency was unmatched.

Media members from across Canada voted Monday on the annual Toronto Star award.

The Northern Star Award has been handed out annually since 1936.

Until last year, it was named the Lou Marsh Award after a former football player and NHL referee who spent over 40 years working in the Toronto Star’s sports department.

The award was renamed after concerns surfaced in recent years over some of the racist language used in Marsh’s writing.



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