MADISON, Wis. – Following an athletic season full of great accomplishments, the University of Wisconsin has named senior basketball player Frank Kaminsky as the school’s Male Athlete of the Year and senior swimmer Ivy Martin as its Female Athlete of the Year.
A consensus national player of the year, Kaminsky won the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. A consensus first-team All-American, Kaminsky became just the third Big Ten Player of the Year in UW history and helped lead the Badgers back to the Final Four and the national championship game.
A 16-time All-American and 13-time Big Ten champion, Martin capped off her illustrious swimming career at Wisconsin with a Big Ten championships for the ages. The Madison native won all seven of the events she competed in, setting a Big Ten record for most titles won by an individual at a conference meet.
The duo will now be considered for the Big Ten Conference’s top athlete honors. Kaminsky is UW’s candidate for Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year, while Martin is a candidate for Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year.
It’s hard to describe the career of Martin and feel that you’ve fully done justice to all that the Wisconsin standout accomplished. Her senior campaign cemented her as one of the greatest to represent the Motion W on their swim cap.
Nowhere was that more evident than at this year’s Big Ten championships. Martin dove into the pool seven times and came out a champion all seven times, setting a Big Ten record by claiming seven titles at the conference meet. Martin was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships for the second-straight season.
A 13-time Big Ten champion, Martin earned first-team All-Big Ten recognition all four years at Wisconsin. This season, she reset both the Big Ten and Wisconsin records for the 50-yard freestyle, the 100 freestyle, the 100 butterfly, and the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.
Making her case as one of the fastest – if not the fastest – female swimmers in the nation, Martin won the 50 freestyle every time she swam in the event this season until finishing runner-up at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
A 16-time All-American over her career, Martin posted four top-six finishes at this season’s NCAA championships. She was runner-up in the 50 freestyle, placed fourth in both the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay, and contributed to a sixth-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.
A Madison native, Martin was born to be a Badger. Martin was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Week on five separate occasions this season, bringing her career total to 10 weekly league honors.
One of UW’s leaders both in the pool and on campus, Martin served as team captain during her senior campaign and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Martin finished her illustrious career at Wisconsin with five school records (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 free relay, 400 free relay) and four Big Ten records (50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay).
Kaminsky entered the 2014-15 season with some of the greatest expectations in school history. Somehow, the 7-footer embraced them on his broad wingspan and exceeded them, becoming a consensus national player of the year and leading the Badgers in one of the greatest seasons in program history.
The first player in Wisconsin history to win national player of the year, Kaminsky filled his mantle with the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. Hopefully he reserved room for plaques, too, as he was named national player of the year by the Associated Press, Sporting News and USA Today. A consensus first-team All-American, Kaminsky became just the third Big Ten Player of the Year in UW history.
Simply put, Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky did it all for Wisconsin and drove the Badgers back to the Final Four and one step further in 2015, reaching the national championship game. Kaminsky was the only player in NCAA Division I to average at least 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. The senior from Lisle, Illinois, led UW in nearly every major category: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, free throws and free throw attempts.
Kaminsky’s stellar senior campaign fueled the Badgers to both the Big Ten regular season and tournament championships, as well as the program’s first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
A soft-shooting big man with quickness around the basket, Kaminsky had a knack for elevating his play at the biggest moments. During the 2015 NCAA Tournament, Kaminsky scored 29 points in UW’s win over Arizona, which clinched a return trip to the Final Four. He followed that with double-doubles against Kentucky in the national semifinal (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Duke in the national championship (21 points, 12 rebounds).
One of the most versatile big men in college basketball, Kaminsky became just the second player in Wisconsin history to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks. Holding the UW single-game record for points in a game (43) from his junior season, Kaminsky also became UW’s career blocks leader with 153 rejections.
Female Athlete of the Year Nominees:
- Kelsey Card – Track and Field
- Lauren Carlini – Volleyball
- Ivy Martin – Swimming
- Genevieve Richard – Soccer
Male Athlete of the Year Nominees:
- Melvin Gordon – Football
- Frank Kaminsky – Basketball
- Michael Lihrman – Track and Field
- Malachy Schrobilgen – Cross Country/Track and Field
Press release courtesy: Wisconsin Athletics