Flynn becomes first Aztec to be named John R. Wooden All-American since 1984


Alexa Oslowski

Junior guard Malachi Flynn drives left during the Aztecs’ 81-68 victory over Boise State in the Mountain West tournament semifinal on March 6 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

by Amber Salas, Staff Writer

San Diego State men’s basketball junior guard Malachi Flynn was announced as a member of the John R. Wooden All-American Team on Wednesday afternoon.

The Wooden Award All-American Team consists of the nation’s top 10 players. One player from this list will be named the Wooden National Player of the Year, which is considered one of the most prestigious awards in college basketball.

Flynn is joined by elite company in Kansas’ Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson, Dayton’s Obi Toppin, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Gonzaga’s Filip Petrusev.

Flynn is only the second player in SDSU men’s basketball history to receive this nomination. Michael Cage was the only other Aztec to receive this honor in 1984. Not even two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard received this honor. Leonard was in the final 15 cut out of 20 candidates and did not make the top 10 to receive first-team status.

This accolade adds to Flynn’s decorated collection, including second-team AP All-American, Mountain West Player of the Year and first-team recognition from Sports Illustrated and STADIUM. He was also named second-team all-American honors from CBS Sports, NBC Sports and The Athletic.

These awards make Flynn the most decorated men’s basketball player in a single season in SDSU history.

His teammate, sophomore guard Adam Seiko, reacted to the news on Twitter by saying Flynn is a “Different breed.”

Wooden, the famous UCLA men’s basketball coach who won 10 NCAA championships, created this award 44 years ago. He insisted that all players on the list be outstanding playmakers offensively and defensively, as well as be model citizens on and off the court.

Flynn meets this criteria after he averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. He shot 44.1% from the field, 37.3% on his 3-pointers and 85.7% on free throws.

Additionally, Flynn is only the third player from the Mountain West Conference to receive the honor. He joins Utah’s Andrew Bogut who was honored in 2005 and BYU’s Jimmer Fredette in 2011.

The Wooden National Player of the Year will be announced on April 7 on ESPN.