June 27, 2017

Batten's Brogdon Wins NBA Rookie of the Year Award

Malcolm Brogdon, a 2016 University of Virginia graduate of the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, earned the National Basketball Association’s Rookie of the Year award Monday following a standout season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Brogdon, one of the most decorated players in UVA basketball history, follows in the footsteps of UVA graduate Ralph Sampson, who won the Rookie of the Year award in 1984.

Brogdon majored in history as an undergraduate student and lived on the Range in his final year at UVA, earning a master’s degree in public policy from the Batten School.  

In his acceptance speech, Brogdon said his award shows the potential of players “that are underestimated.”  

“This is a testament to…guys that are second-round picks, guys that are undrafted every year, that get looked over regardless of the work they put in, regardless of what they do,” said Brogdon, who was the 36th pick in the 2016 NBA draft.

“You can always achieve your dreams if you have faith, if you sacrifice for what you want.”

He thanked his mother Jann Adams, who was at the awards ceremony. “She has sacrificed so much for me.”

“I also want to say thank you to God. None of this would be possible without God leading your way, writing your path for you, so one more round of applause for that, as well.”

He also thanked the Milwaukee Bucks, saying “They believe in me, they’ve given me tremendous opportunity. It’s been a great year.” The Bucks made it to the first round of the NBA playoffs earlier this year.

Gesturing with the trophy he held, and looking at it briefly, Brogdon said, “I think this is a testament to the whole organization.”

(A video of Brogdon’s acceptance speech is here.)

Brogdon earned unanimous consensus first-team All-America and NABC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2016 after becoming the first player to be named ACC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. The three-time All-ACC first-team performer earned consensus second-team All-America honors in 2015. The athletics department retired his No. 15 jersey in pre-game ceremony on Feb. 20, 2017.

“I am appreciative of the faculty who challenged and supported me, as well as each staff person who supported me during times of challenge, had a kind word when I needed one, and who continue to work to make the University great,” Brogdon wrote in a letter after the University announced that his number would be retired.

“While at UVA, I met some of the finest women and men anywhere. It was an honor to attend such a great university and to learn and grow with fellow students.”

In his first NBA season, Brogdon led rookies in assists (4.2 per game) and steals (1.12 per game) and ranked second in three-point field goal percentage (40.4) and free throw percentage (86.5). He was also third in field goal percentage (45.7) and fourth in scoring (10.2 ppg). (This year the honor is known officially as the 2017 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year award.)

When Sampson won in 1984, he averaged 21 points and 11.1 rebounds.

Brogdon became one of just five rookies in NBA history to shoot 40 percent or better from 3-point range while averaging at least 4.0 assists per game. He recorded the first rookie triple-double in Bucks’ history, and the only one by a rookie during the 2016-17 season, when he scored 15 points with 12 assists and 11 rebounds at Chicago on Dec. 31.

At UVA, Brogdon helped the Cavaliers to 111 wins, four NCAA tournaments, two ACC regular-season titles and one ACC Tournament championship during his career.

Brogdon finished his career ranked ninth on UVA’s all-time scoring list with 1,809 points. He also ranks first in free throw percentage (87.6%), second in games played (136), fifth in minutes played (4,157), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (36.5%), seventh in 3-pointers (185) and ninth in free throws (422).

Brogdon was a Senior CLASS Award and Allstate NABC Good Works Team honoree, and John R. Wooden Citizenship Cup finalist for his excellence in the classroom and community.

(UVA Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett’s Facebook message to Malcolm Brogdon.)