Every year Michigan State awards student-athletes who have shown great skill not only in their respective sports but also in the classroom and headlining this years awards is non other than Denzel Valentine.
The George Alderton award goes to the male athlete of the year and looking back on Valentine's senior season it is no surprise to see him selected for the award. This goes as the last in a long list of awards for Denzel this year, which includes being named National Player of the Year by the Associated Press, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Basketball Times, Sports Illustrated, USA TODAY Sports and NBC Sports. According to MSU Athletics, he was also the recipient of both the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award as presented by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and the Senior CLASS Award. Valentine became the eighth Spartan to be named Big Ten Player of the Year, and was a unanimous First-Team All-Big Ten selection.
Valentine, a lansing area native finishes his career with his name scattered throughout the record books at Michigan State. He ranks as the only Spartan in history to finish in the top 10 in both assists (639) and rebounds (859) and he is also first player in Big Ten history to have 1,300 points, 700 rebounds and 500 assists in a career.
Valentine is the latest in a long list of MSU Basketball players to win this award including Steve Smith (1991), Mateen Cleaves (1999, 2000) and most recently Draymond Green (2012).