Dallas Mavericks: Jalen Brunson named college basketball athlete of decade

Dallas Mavericks Jalen Brunson (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Jalen Brunson (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson received a massive honor when he was named Sporting News college basketball Athlete of the Decade. Find out more here.

Dallas Mavericks point guard Jalen Brunson has filled in admirably after Luka Doncic suffered a sprained ankle against the Miami Heat on Dec. 14. He jumped in with 18 points and eight assists in 34.3 minutes that night. Brunson followed it up with three straight strong performances as a starter including leading the Mavs to two victories.

The 23-year-old is in his second NBA season. He showed off plenty of promise during his rookie campaign. After Dallas shook up their roster on Jan. 31, Brunson moved into the starting lineup and produced well. He averaged 13.2 points and 4.5 rebounds on 48.8 percent shooting from the field over the team’s final 32 games.

It should come as no shock. Jalen’s father Rick played in the NBA for nine seasons. The younger Brunson also displayed plenty of promise during his college days. He was the starting point guard for three years at Villanova. That run included winning two NCAA Championships, the Wooden Award, and the Naismith Award.

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It was a stellar lead up to the NBA. He was a second round pick, but don’t count him out. Brunson has won at every stop so far.

His college playing days got him another honor this week.

Sporting News Athlete of the Decade

Jalen Brunson’s incredible career at Villanova earned him the Sporting News college basketball Athlete of the Decade award. That distinction is a gigantic compliment. Brunson was the best NCAA player during the 2010s according to Sporting News.

Here is what he had to say about winning the award courtesy of Eddie Sefko.

Brunson should not care about accolades at this point in his career. He is focusing on improving his game and leading the offense with Luka Doncic out. It does not have to be complicated. Brunson is showing how valuable he could be if given a larger opportunity.

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It is unlikely to continue when Luka Doncic returns, though. Coach Carlisle does not love the idea of playing Brunson and Luka together. That means limited minutes for JB. The 23-year-old will remain ready for whatever role he has to fill.