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Denzel Valentine named Big Ten male athlete of the year

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Take a bow Denzel.

Leon Halip/Getty Images

On the eve of the 2016 NBA Draft, Denzel Valentine is still adding his collegiate hardware collection before having his NBA dream realized.

On Wednesday, Valentine was named the 2016 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year. He was already named the 2016 Big Ten Player of the Year in March, so this award shouldn't come as a huge surprise for the Spartans star.

This is just the latest of many honors for Valentine, who won six National Player of the Year awards. He was also named the 2016 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year while being a consensus First-Team All-American.

"Winning the Jesse Owens Award is an incredible honor," said Valentine in a press release "Jesse Owens was one of the greatest athletes of all-time and an amazing man who impacted people beyond just his sport. To be recognized as the best male athlete in the Big Ten is humbling.

"There are so many accomplished athletes in so many different sports throughout the conference. When you think about all the great basketball players that have played in the Big Ten, I'm shocked to hear that I'm just the sixth to win this award, but it just shows the overall depth of the conference."

Valentine took home all of these honors after averaging 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game as a senior. He becomes the third Spartans athlete to win the Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year award, joining fellow Spartans basketball great Draymond Green in 2012 and hockey goalie Ryan Miller in 2001.

"I'm honored to join Ryan Miller and Draymond Green as fellow Spartans to receive this award," Valentine said. "Every time I stepped on the court, I did so with an awareness of the great history of Michigan State, as well as the Big Ten and college basketball.

"There was a responsibility to uphold for all the greats that had come before me. Being a part of the Spartan basketball program was a dream come true. And now on the eve of the NBA Draft, the Jesse Owens Award serves as a fitting cap to my Spartan career, as I set off to realize my next dream."

Now, Valentine will look to cap all of this off by hearing his named called during Thursday's draft. He's expected to go somewhere in the first round, possibly the lottery.

But no matter how Valentine's professional career turns out, there's no question he's been a great representative of what it means to be a Spartan.