Hamilton’s Michael Carter-Williams set the bar high the night he made his National Basketball Association debut back on October 30.
Then, he spent the rest of the season proving it wasn’t a fluke.
Carter-Williams, a 6-foot-6 point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, was rewarded for his standout season, collecting the NBA Rookie of the Year Award during a press conference yesterday in Philadelphia.
There was little resistance standing between Carter-Williams and the award. The former Hamilton-Wenham Regional and St. Andrews (R.I.) star ran away with the vote, grabbing 104 of a possible 124 first-place votes and totaling 569 points. Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo was second with 364 points.
Carter-Williams achieved tremendous individual success this season, beginning with an opening night victory over the two-time defending champion Miami Heat when he scored 22 points, dished out 12 assists and came up with nine steals.
The former standout at Syracuse University led all rookies in scoring (16.7 points per game), rebounding (6.3) and assists (6.2), becoming just the third player to do so in joining Oscar Robertson (1960-61) and Alvan Adams (1975-6).
Only two players in the league finished this season with averages of at least 16 points, six assists and six rebounds. Carter-Williams, of course, was one. The other was LeBron James, who produced 27.1 points, 6.3 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game.
James won the Rookie of the Year in 2003-04, and Carter-Williams strives to some day reach team success similar to James.
“This award is great. It’s greatly appreciated, but you know I’d definitely trade this award in for a second to be in the playoffs and watching what I’m seeing now,” Carter-Williams said at yesterday’s press conference. “Even coaches still tell me now, ‘Watch the playoffs. Look at how different the game is.’ I do see it. It’s a whole different season.