What figures to be a big week for former Ohio State men's basketball star Evan Turner started early.
A day before the first round of the NBA draft, in which he is expected to be the second overall pick, Turner was tabbed the Big Ten's Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday night. The honor was voted on by a panel of media members from around the league conference, and all 11 conference schools submitted nominees.
It is just the latest honor for Turner, who won six national collegiate player of the year honors at the conclusion of his junior season as he led Ohio State to the Sweet 16.
Turner averaged 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in 2010 as his Buckeye team won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. A 6-7 junior from Chicago, he was the conference's top scorer and rebounder and ranked No. 2 in assists (6.0, 6th in the nation) and steals (1.7).
In men's basketball, Ohio State has had three finalists for the Jesse Owens Big Ten Athlete of the Year award. Jim Jackson was a finalist in 1991 and 1992 while Scoonie Penn was up for the honor in 1999.
The Big Ten Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year Award began in 1982. Ohio State's last Jesse Owens Award winner was men's gymnast Blaine Wilson in 1997, and running back Eddie George earned the award as a representative of Ohio State's football team in 1996.
Volleyball player Megan Hodge of national champion Penn State captured the women's honor, which is named after distance runner Suzy Favor of Wisconsin.